Every day and in every community, the coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the best in Americans. Take a look at some inspiring images of Americans pulling together in a time of crisis.
They’ve lived through World Wars, the Great Depression and other pandemics, so they weren’t about to let a little COVID stop them.
Meet some of the oldest coronavirus survivors — all 100 years old and above — whose optimism and fighting spirits inspire all who hear their stories.
Read on for their longevity secrets — and the life lessons they say aided their recoveries, from good eating habits to keeping calm under pressure.
104-year-old Lilian Menendez credits her longevity with good genes.
“My mother was 98 and she didn’t have a gray hair in her head — she was jet black,” says Menendez, the eldest resident at Apex Rehab & Healthcare in South Huntington, LI.
Menendez adds that her mother, who raised six children alone in Manhattan, taught her to be strong — and made sure they were fortified to do so.
“My mother took very good care of us,” says Menendez. “We ate a lot of rice and beans, and chicken. Sunday we got chicken because we were poor then.”
The Harlem native grew up to have two children, four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Since recovering from the virus in April, “I feel wonderful,” says Menendez, who once worked at Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, where she made $10 a week. “I’m as strong as a bull.”
What’s more: symptom-free, she says COVID-19 is now in the past.
“I’m back 100 percent,” she says.