101-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Born During Spanish Flu Recovers From Coronavirus
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Mr. P is an Italian man from the city of Rimini who tested positive for coronavirus last week. He has already beat the deadly virus, giving many people from older generations who are considered to be at a higher risk a glimpse of hope. He is no stranger to facing hardships though as he beat the Spanish flu in the early 1900s and survived The Holocaust.
Rimini’s Deputy Mayor Gloria Lisi spoke to the local media about his miraculous recovery and resilience that gives the Italian people “hope for the future.”
The Elderly Population In Italy Has Been Suffering From Coronavirus
Italy has the second-oldest population in the world which has left them particularly vulnerable to the deadly virus. About 23% of the population is over the age of 65. Pre-existing chronic illnesses, biological aging and declining immunity are just some of the issues that make older people at risk. They can face more deadly consequences if they contract the virus. However, stories like Mr.P’s may have just diminished some of those fears.
He is now back home with his family and proves that the future is not always set in stone. His recovery was the talk of the hospital in Remini. It was shocking because about 86% of deaths in the country were patients older than 70 years old. But Mr.P’s track record has proven to be strong. He survived the Spanish Flu pandemic that claimed the lives of over 50 million people from 1918 to 1920. Historians have referred to it as the deadliest pandemic in history and are hoping coronavirus never reaches those ranks.
Organizations Are Stepping Up To Provide Resources For Holocaust Survivors During The Pandemic
The Nachas Health and Family Network has had to find new ways to provide services to nearly 40 Holocaust survivors. They would come to the center for therapy, meals and to socialize. The organization based in Brooklyn, New York has been bringing meals to the elderly Holocaust survivors who live in poverty and have not been able to go out and buy groceries.
Mr.P lived through the Holocaust in Italy where Italian Jews faced oppression, were imprisoned and even killed. Holocaust survivors have gone through very emotional, psychological and traumatizing experiences which is why they rely on public programs for resources. With coronavirus closing many public places, organizations like The Nachas have had to provide for the people in any way that they can. The Nachas organization maintains that Holocaust survivors are a particularly vulnerable demographic that can be affected tremendously by the spread of coronavirus. They want to ensure that these people do not leave their houses.
The Alfred Landecker Foundation recently pledged 1 million euros ($1,117 million) to support survivors of the Holocaust during the coronavirus pandemic. The money will go directly to four Jewish Care organizations. It will provide them with enough food for their people and access to communication devices such as phones and computers so that Holocaust survivors are able to communicate with their families, friends and therapists during this time. It is important that these people do not feel like they are still living in isolation or revert back to thoughts of when they feared for their lives during the Holocaust.
Hopefully, stories like Mr.P’s continue to give people hope during a time when they truly need it most.