World’s Second-Oldest Person Survives COVID-19

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She’s looking forward to her 117th birthday.

One concrete aspect about the coronavirus and COVID-19 that we’ve learned is that the older you are, the more at-risk you are of suffering its potentially deadly symptoms. This is why the elderly have been first on the docket for receiving vaccines alongside first responders, as their risk of both infection and death are much higher than younger folks. For the especially old folks out there, the idea of catching COVID-19 must be especially frightening, but recently, one such elder managed to beat the odds just like she’s beaten the passage of time.

Lucile Randon, better known as Sister André, is a nun living in the French city of Toulon. Sister André is 116 years old, making her the second-oldest living human being on the entire planet. Though she is blind and confined to a wheelchair, she’s quite excited for Thursday, at it’ll be her 117th birthday. This occasion is all the more exciting due to the fact that she has just been cleared of COVID-19.

Sister André was first diagnosed with the disease back in mid-January, but according to both her and her doctors, she wasn’t especially bothered by the diagnosis. “I didn’t even realize I had it,” she told French newspaper Var-Matin.

“She didn’t ask me about her health, but about her habits,” David Tavella, the communications manager for the retirement home she lives in, told the newspaper. “For example, she wanted to know if meal or bedtime schedules would change. She showed no fear of the disease. On the other hand, she was very concerned about the other residents.”

As of this week, Sister André has officially been cleared of the virus, and will be allowed to attend both Mass and her birthday celebration. She’s looking forward to the festivities, though they’ll be a bit smaller than she’s used to due to COVID safety regulations both in her retirement home and France in general.

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