A Second World War veteran, who has remarkably beaten both the 1918 Spanish flu and the current pandemic, has this week celebrated his 104th birthday.
Keep scrolling to read Bill's incredible story, and to hear what he had to say on the current health crisis...
In 1918, the world was brought to its knees.
via: Getty101 years before the current pandemic, the notorious Spanish flu ripped across the world, infecting and killing millions of people.
It became the most severe pandemic in modern history.
via: GettyThe origins of this deadly strain of influenza are still uncertain but, much like coronavirus, it was notoriously quick to spread across the globe.
An estimated 500 million fell ill to the virus.
via: GettyAnd roughly one-fifth of those died, with some indigenous communities even being pushed to the brink of full extinction.
It was a dark, dark time for the world.
via: GettyAnd, here in the United States, we were hit particularly hard, with around 675,000 deaths been recorded in our country alone.
Age played a huge role in survival chances.
via: GettyThe 1918 pandemic was unusual in that it killed many healthy twenty to forty-year-olds, including millions of World War I soldiers. In contrast, people who die of the flu are usually under 5 years old or over seventy-five.
Both medical research and resources were limited back in 1918...
via: GettySo the virus was quick to rampage out of control, with prevention efforts being limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as quarantine, good personal hygiene, and limitations of public gatherings... It all sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?
And now, fast forward to 2020, a new pandemic has brought the world to a standstill.
via: Getty ImagesSince December 2019, the coronavirus has been spreading across the world like wildfire and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.
Much like the Spanish flu, the pandemic has caused a global panic.
via: Getty ImagesAccording to statistics, over a million people have now been infected with the virus, and a further 53,292 have died.
The majority of people around the world have been left confined to their homes...
via: Getty ImagesAnd, unlike the 1918 pandemic, it is this time the elderly who are most vulnerable to the virus.
Older people are in one of the higher-risk demographics...
via: Getty ImagesAnd the majority of deaths so far have been people over the age of sixty.
All people over the age of seventy have been told to self-isolate...
via: Getty ImagesAnd even though this is in their best interest, self-isolation isn't all fun and games.
A lot of elderly people have been isolated from their loved ones and carers.
via: Getty ImagesWhich is certainly not ideal for those who struggle to care for themselves and do their day-to-day tasks.
And not only is this self-isolation difficult for the vulnerable...
via: Getty ImagesIt is difficult for a person's mental health.
Many elderly people have been left unable to see their families and grandchildren...
via: Getty ImagesAnd it is truly beginning to take its toll.
However, there is one elderly man staying positive amid this pandemic...
via: FacebookSecond World War veteran, Bill Lapschies, from Oregon, lived through the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression and his time in the US Army during the Second World War... So he certainly isn't going to let this one get him down.
Twenty-five days ago, Bill first presented symptoms of the virus...
via: KOIN 6But it has now been nineteen days since he last had a fever, meaning he could well be the oldest person to ever recover.
And, shortly after making a remarkable recovery from coronavirus, Bill celebrated his 104th birthday.
Sending happy birthday wishes to Bill on his 104th birthday! He's one of Oregon's honored veterans and has just rec… https://t.co/5HOAEiRKf0— Governor Kate Brown (@Governor Kate Brown)1585784258.0
It is a true achievement for the veteran.
via: YouTubeAnd, when asked by his granddaughter just how he had survived the virus, he simply replied: "I don't know. It just went away. Sit out here and you can get rid of anything."
Staff at the carehome are overjoyed with Bill's recovery...
via: KOIN 6And, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, Dr. Rob Richardson, who oversees the care at the home, explained how differently this could have turned out. "This could have easily gone another way. There's not a lot of interventions that can be done."