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101-yr-old who survived the Spanish flu and World War 2, has now recovered from COVID-19 as well

The man identified publicly as Mr. P., is now among the oldest people on record to survive the virus.

101-yr-old who survived the Spanish flu and World War 2, has now recovered from COVID-19 as well
Image Source: Getty Images (representative)

A 101-year-old man has defied the odds yet again. Born amid the Spanish flu pandemic, the elderly Italian citizen has reportedly survived his battle with COVID-19—the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has completely changed the lives of billions across the globe. An official from the city of Rimini on the northeast coast of Italy revealed that the survivor, identified publicly as only Mr. P., was released from the hospital after treatment earlier last week. He is now among the oldest people on record to survive the virus.


According to CNN, Gloria Lisi, the deputy mayor of the Italian city of Rimini, told reporters that Mr. P was admitted to the hospital earlier this month after testing positive for Covid-19 and left the hospital on Thursday. She added that his "truly extraordinary" recovery gave "hope for the future." Lisi further noted that the man who was born in 1919, entered the world during another pandemic: the Spanish flu—an H1N1 virus that spread from 1918 to 1919 and is estimated to have killed between 30 million and 50 million people worldwide. "Mr. P made it. The family brought him home yesterday evening. To teach us that even at 101 years the future is not written," she said.


Mr. P's recovery became "the story everyone talked about" in the hospital, Lisi reportedly said in a televised interview on Thursday. According to News 18, she said: "Everyone saw hope for the future of all of us in the recovery of a person more than 100 years old. Every day we see the sad stories from these weeks that mechanically tell about a virus that rages and is especially aggressive on the elderly. But he survived. Mr. P. survived."


According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, Lisi also spoke about how Mr. P.—who has lived through World War II—survived against everything life could throw at him. "He saw everything, Mr. P. War, hunger, pain, progress, crisis, and resurrections," she said. With his recovery, this Italian man has joined the ranks of other centenarians to survive coronavirus, including 103-year-old Zhang Guangfen, who lives in Wuhan, China. A 97-year-old woman in South Korea also left the hospital last week after recovering from COVID-19, making her the country's oldest survivor.


However, another Spanish flu survivor succumbed to death over the weekend, hours after testing positive for Covid-19. According to The Guardian, 108-year-old Hilda Churchill is now believed to be the oldest victim of coronavirus in the UK after she died in a Salford care home on Saturday. Churchill, who was born in 1911—the year before the Titanic sank and three years before the start of the first world war—died just eight days before her 109th birthday. Her grandson, Anthony Churchill, revealed that the ongoing pandemic had prompted her to reminisce about the Spanish flu.


"When I visited her last, we talked about coronavirus and mentioned we might not see her for a while," he said. "She said it was very similar to the Spanish flu but in her day there were no planes and somehow it still managed to spread everywhere." Although Churchill and most of her family in their home in Crewe had become infected with the Spanish flu and recovered from it, her 12-month-old baby sister, Beryl May, did not make it. "She remembered standing at her bedroom window and seeing this little coffin carrying her baby sister being put into a carriage and being taken away," Anthony said.


"She remembers everyone getting it and her mother trying to look after them and her father collapsing in a street and having to be carried home. She was saying how amazing it is that something you can’t see can be so devastating. It was never something she talked about being frightened of, though, and she was scared of this new virus. She survived so much and this was just another thing. She was a person who just got on with things – never asked for sympathy or said she was hard done by," he added.


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