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A Brief But Spectacular take on surviving coronavirus at age 102

Throughout the pandemic, Americans in elder care facilities have been at a high risk of contracting COVID-19. But there are also those residents of nursing homes who have survived the disease in spite of their age. Centenarian Grace Weissman-Spiegel-Davis is one of those. She shares her Brief But Spectacular take on her spectacular, but not brief, life.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Throughout the pandemic, Americans in elder care homes have been some of the people most at risk from COVID-19.

    But there are those in nursing homes who have survived the disease, despite their age.

    Tonight's Brief But Spectacular features centenarian Grace Weissman-Spiegel-Davis, who shares what her experience was like.

  • Grace Weissman-Spiegel-Davis:

    I was a victim of the coronavirus. And I must say, I am happy that I survived this.

    And I'm told I did come down with a fever. Truthfully, I wasn't aware of it. And it might be that I was not mentally facing it.

    There has been no activity in the hairdressing salon because of this pandemic which is going on. So I said, when I was asked to be interviewed, only if I can have my hair done. And that's what happened. I had my hair done, so I'm number one on the hit parade.

    (LAUGHTER)

    I'm 102 years old, and I live in a retirement development called the Mary Wade Home, which is in New Haven, Connecticut.

    As a little girl, we lived — it was a tenement, actually, in Harlem, New York, on 116th Street. I never heard of a pandemic before this one. We had what we called epidemics, and one was whooping cough.

    And I remember my mother taking us on the subway to the Staten Island Ferry during the whooping cough epidemic, because saltwater was good for the whooping cough. I remember that very clearly.

    Well, my life hasn't changed much, and I feel like I still can have some fun and a few laughs and still have my mental facilities or faculties, I should say.

    (LAUGHTER)

    All I know is that I tell all my friends, if I die, please call my hairdresser first. I want to have my hair done and look well at my funeral.

    (LAUGHTER)

    I have led a nice life. I have been very fortunate.

    I would like to be remembered as a good friend, as a good relative, and as a good person who lived on this wonderful Earth, and hope that it all works out well.

    My name is Grace Weissman-Spiegel-Davis. And this was my not-so-brief, but spectacular life.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Grace Weissman-Spiegel-Davis, we are so glad you survived, and a lot of us share your appreciation for hairdressers.

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