100-Year-Old Coronavirus Survivors Reveal the Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life

Lizzy Buczak
June 04, 2020 - 1:29 pm

Beating coronavirus, especially when you’re older and considered high-risk, is worthy of a celebration.

Some COVID-19 survivors are also 100-years-old and older, which means they’ve also lived through and survived their fair share of pandemics, like the Spanish Flu, World Wars, and the Great Depression.

The New York Post reached out to the survivors to get one answer -- what’s the secret to longevity?

Walter Reed of East Rockaway, LI said he believes that in order to have a long life, you need a good diet. “I never smoked. I watched my diet,” he said.

Reed also maintained a positive outlook on life: “I always try to do the right things: You never hear me cussing … I don’t get angry, I hold my temper down. I walk away and have a good relationship with everybody.”

A positive attitude and resilience is credited with helping 104-year-old Ida Acconciamessa, who, in addition to overcoming COVID, also survived stage 4 melanoma, the Spanish Flu, and recovered from two broken hips.

Meanwhile, 101-year-old Rose Leigh-Manuell of West Sayville, LI, credits her faith with getting her through the hard times.

“God takes good care of me,” the devout Protestant told the publication.

“She had such an upbeat attitude about everything. One of her favorite sayings when things go bad: ‘This too shall pass,’” her son, Gary said.

The grandmother of eight, who loves to snack on Oreos, also notes it’s important to spend time with your loved ones and prioritizes weekly dinners with her son.

Gary said his mother seemed young despite her age: “she worked in a fish market up until she was 95, so that would have been six years ago. And the only reason she stopped working is the fish market closed.”

Having something to look forward to and a family to come home to is equally as important.

WWII veteran Vincent Simeone, 99, made sure nothing got in the way of attending his granddaughter’s wedding, not even COVID.

"It was a huge surprise and it was great to see him standing and waving, smiling," his granddaughter Amy Zimmerman Scudieri of his attendance.

Some are just born with it, according to 104-year-old Lilian Menendez who believes her longevity is due to her strong genes.

“My mother was 98 and she didn’t have a gray hair in her head — she was jet black,” Mendez recalls.

Staying active is key, says Dave Stejna, the grandson of 103-year-old Jennie Stejna.

“She’s the most high-energy person I ever met,” he said adding, “Into her 90s, I would go places with her and I could barely keep up.”

Stejna manages to refuel with a cold beer, which Dave says she’d often indulge in on a hot summer day.

It’s no coincidence that when she celebrated her recent recovery from coronavirus by enjoying an ice cold Bud Light!

We'll cheers to that!

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