Lucia DeClerck, the oldest resident of her New Jersey nursing home, tested positive for the virus on her 105th birthday, one day after her second vaccine shot.
She showed few symptoms, and within two weeks she was back in her room, holding her rosary beads and wearing her trademark sunglasses and knit hat.
Ask her how she has lived to be 105, and she is quick with an answer: “Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. One step at a time. No junk food.”
But surviving the coronavirus may have had something to do with another staple: the nine gin-soaked golden raisins she has eaten each morning for most of her life.
She explained, “Fill a jar. Nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.”
Her children and grandchildren recall the ritual as just one of her endearing lifelong habits.
Born in 1916 in Hawaii to parents who came from Guatemala and Spain, she lived through the Spanish flu, two world wars and the deaths of three husbands and a son.