Do you guys ever get a random tightness in your chest or something and think, “This is it. This is how I die.” This happens to me like twice a month and I’m 33.
Going forward, every time I work myself up into an existential huff, I will think of Anna Del Priore.
The New Jersey woman is one month away shy of her 108th birthday. To give you perspective on just how long Anna has been kickin’ it, she was born before the invention of the bra and the same year the Titanic sank. Rest in peace, Leo.
To give you perspective on how resilient she is, Anna was born in Brooklyn to deaf parents and has overcome both the Spanish Flu a century ago and COVID-19 just months ago. (What’s even more crazy is that Anna’s younger sister, 105-year-old Helen Guzzone of Queens, New York, also survived both illnesses.)
"I thought, 'Oh my God, this is it,'" her granddaughter said. "This is the thing that's going to take her down." Nope. Anna Del Priore is still dancing. https://t.co/IWkVt4n4yL
— Asbury Park Press (@AsburyParkPress) August 11, 2020
According to AZ Central, Anna contracted the Spanish Flu during the influenza pandemic of 1918, a respiratory virus that infected 500 million people and killed between 17 and 50 million of them.
Back in May, Anna fell ill with COVID-19, her granddaughter Darlene said, “She had a fever, didn’t eat much, but she didn’t need a respirator. They didn’t have to send her to the hospital.”
Anna continued her normal activities including swimming, dancing, and sewing.
“She’s constantly moving,” Jasmine said. “We always walked in Brooklyn – to the grocery store, to the bakery. Every night she would make a homemade meal from scratch. All Mediterranean food – olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts. It’s like the old peasant food that now they charge you so much for.”
Laura Halle, who is Del Priore’s health care coordinator at Brighton Gardens in Jersey, claims that Anna wakes up, combs her hair, walks, and dances.
“You keep living,” Anna said. “Dancing makes you feel good. I want to keep my health.”
Me, after getting my second existential panic attack of the week: