(CBS)–At 113 years old, Maria Branyas has lived through the 1918 flu pandemic, two world wars, the Spanish Civil war, and now coronavirus. Branyas is believed to be the oldest woman in Spain, and despite her age, she was able to beat coronavirus after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in March, BBC News reports.
Branyas spent weeks in isolation and only experienced mild symptoms. “Now that she is well, she is wonderful, she wants to speak, to explain, to make her reflections, it is her again,” her daughter tweeted, according to BBC News.
The supercentenarian was born in Mexico in 1907 and moved to San Francisco before settling in the Catalan province of Girona during World War II, BBC News reports. Branyas has three children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. One of her kids turned 86 recently and her eldest grandchild is 60.
Spanish publication La Vanguardia, which first reported on Branyas’ coronavirus recovery, interviewed her last year, calling her the “Abuela [grandmother] de Catalan.”
When asked for her secret to a long life, Branyas told La Vanguardia, “I have done nothing but live.”
It appears that at 113 years old, Branyas is active on Twitter. La Vanguardia included one of her many tweets in which she updated her followers on her coronavirus recovery. She said she had been asked to do a TV interview — and guessed it was because she overcame COVID-19.
While the elderly are more vulnerable to coronavirus and may have a more difficult time overcoming it, recoveries like Braynas’ are not unheard of. In the United States, a “resilient” 104-year-old man who lived through the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and World War II also recovered from the coronavirus.
William “Bill” Lapschies contracted the virus at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Oregon, CBS affiliate KOIN reported. He first started showing symptoms on March 5 and been isolated in his room, but by early April, he was considered recovered from COVID-19.
Because elderly people are at high risk of serious illness from the virus, people over the age of 65 are encouraged to social distance and avoid going out in public. However, since no one is immune, Americans of all ages are being asked to practice social distancing and wear masks to help save the lives of those who are most vulnerable.
First published on May 13, 2020 / 1:22 PM
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