Stories of Italians over 100 years old who overcame coronavirus infections, in one of the world’s hardest-hit countries, are bolstering the spirits of people in lockdown.
The stories of Italian centenarians who managed to defeat the coronavirus are garnering attention around the world. The over-100s have escaped the claws of a disease that kills thousands around the world every day, with an especially high pandemic death toll in their country.
The centenarian survivors lead normal lives in Italy’s cities, some with their families and some in nursing homes. They share a strong memory and the will to live a full life, even in its simplest forms.
These centenarians enjoy pleasures such as reading the newspaper, taking leisurely neighborhood walks, eating meals with family, or following sports competitions.
Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera shared some of the centenarian survivors’ eventful life stories.
Alberto Bellucci (101) fought in the Second World War. Bellucci was captured twice by German forces but managed to escape. Two weeks ago, he faced down another enemy, the novel coronavirus, and managed to defeat it after spending two weeks at the hospital in the coastal city of Rimini.
Ada Zanoso, who will be 104 years old on August 16 and lives in a nursing home in Pella, near Turin, looks as skinny as “the wren but still, the strongest,” and her memory remains sharp.
Zanoso was featured in international media after she was infected with COVID-19 in early March and recovered after nearly two weeks of hospitalization. Her children say the secret to her long life is “her beautiful character and strong will” and her persistence in reading and reciting prayers.
Despite her old age, Italica Grondona (102) is still passionate about rock music and enjoys sports competitions. One of her grandchildren said that she “always liked dancing and is passionate about sports and watches everything on TV, from motorbikes to cars, from artistic gymnastics to snowboarding, but she does not like football.”
Grondona was admitted to the hospital in the northwestern city of Genoa in late February with heart problems and complications from diabetes, but tests revealed she was also infected with COVID-19.
Grondona recovered in one week and received significant attention when she left the hospital, not only when international television stations covered her story, but also when her favorite star, motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi, called her to ask about her condition.
In the city of Cremona, Michelangelo Scotella (97) looks forward to continuing his full life, going to newspaper stores, shopping, and cooking, after recovering from the effects of COVID-19 approximately two weeks ago.
Cremona is located in the province of Lombardy, which is one of the regions most affected by the coronavirus.
Scotella worked in Santa Giurgia–a small town in the Reggio Calabria region of southern Italy–and was also a naval officer. Scotella spends his time reading and watching television.
Following stories of Italians who have lived past 100 years and defeated the new coronavirus can give people living in pandemic-era uncertainty strength and hope for a better future.
This can be achieved if people across the world show solidarity and follow all prescribed health measures and legal containment guidelines, staying inside, wearing face masks in public, and properly washing their hands.