Living to the age of 100 remains a remarkable and somewhat rare feat. Individuals aged 100 or older, referred to as centenarians, make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. At 105 years old, Esperanza Carpio has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement and now, two pandemics.
At 105 years old, Esperanza Carpio has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement and now, two pandemics.
The Rosemead resident was about 3 years old when the Spanish flu pandemic spread across the globe and took the lives of nearly 50 million people between 1918-1919.
Today, more than a century later, Carpio is in the midst of another pandemic. Having just recently turned 105, Carpio got her two shots of Pfizer, making her fully vaccinated.
The shot in the arm was a piece of cake for the centenarian, she told KTLA. Following her mother’s example, 85-year-old Irene Carpio also got her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m so happy that my mother got her shots … I love her very much,” Irene Carpio said.
Suzie Sharp, Esperanza Carpio’s great niece and caretaker is also fully vaccinated. She said she’s happy that her great aunt will be able to see her grandchildren and other family members again.
“We’re a super hugging family, and it’s really hard when the family comes and we can’t just go up and hug them,” Sharp said.
Sharp said her great aunt has always been cautious about her health, so getting the COVID-19 vaccine was a no-brainer.
When asked about her secret to longevity, Carpio said she stays active, happy and surrounds herself with loving family and friends.
Centenarians who survived the pandemic
Carpio isn’t the first one to have survived the pandemic. Other centenarians who’ve survived the pandemic include:
- Ursula Haeussler (105 years old)
- Lucia DeClerck (105 years old)
- Sister André, a nun (117 years old)
Living a long life
Living a long life is a common wish of many – and some might just get what they wish for. Life expectancies in developed and developing countries alike have been rising continuously, causing the number of people who live to 100 years to rise also.
This year, the United Nations expect the number of centenarians to rise to approximately 573,000 worldwide.
The U.S. has the highest absolute number of centenarians in the world with 97,000 living in the country. Japan comes second with 79,000 Japanese who are 100 years or older, according to World Atlas.