Beating the Coronavirus Odds at Age 113! | The Institute for Creation Research

Beating the Coronavirus Odds at Age 113!
The world has been reminded, once again, that God—not healthcare statistics nor global pandemics—determines when and where one’s earthly pilgrimage ends. BBC News, in Spain, reports the case of an elderly lady who contracted COVID-19, yet survived it.1

A 113-year-old woman—believed to be the oldest woman in Spain—has recovered from the coronavirus, officials have said. Maria Branyas was diagnosed with COVID-19 after the country went into lockdown in March [2020]. But after weeks in isolation, Ms Branyas recovered, having suffered only mild symptoms.1

Human longevity is usually measured in averages. But averages are just that: averages. In the final analysis, each of us is individual. Our personal destinies are not “average” in God’s sight.2

Maybe this senior citizen has not “seen it all,” but she has most assuredly seen a lot—over many years.

It means she has lived through the [Spanish] flu pandemic of 1918-19, the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War and [now] the coronavirus. "Now that she is well, she is wonderful, she wants to speak, to explain, to make her reflections, it is her again," her daughter tweeted.1

Ironically, Maria Branyas is a native of California, not Spain.

Born in San Francisco in 1907, Ms Branyas arrived in the Catalan province of Girona during World War One with her Spanish journalist father. She raised three children—one of whom recently turned 86—has 11 grandchildren—the oldest of whom is 60—and 13 great-grandchildren. She has lived for two decades at a care home in the [Catalonian] city of Olot.1

Until recently, the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 was perhaps the most famous pandemic—besides the Black Death Plague that repeatedly ravaged the Dark Ages, continuing into the early generations of the Protestant Reformation.3

But only God determines when and where each of us ends our time on Earth.

For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.
You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers. . . .

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!4

May each of us be faithful stewards of whatever earthly days we are given, one day at a time, storing up true treasure in Heaven5—even if our time of service, here below, lasts as long as 113 years.

Stage image: Maria Branyas, August 2019.
Stage image credit: ACN.
 Copyright © 2020. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

References
1. Quoting Maria Branyas: 'Oldest Woman in Spain' Beats Coronavirus at 113. BBC News. Posted on bbc.com May 12, 2020, accessed May 12, 2020. See also Persio, S. L. 2020. Spain’s Oldest Woman, Age 113, has Survived Coronavirus. Posted on Forbes.com May 12, 2020, accessed May 13, 2020.
2. Psalm 102:18. Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Water Drops and Human Value. Acts & Facts. 49(2): 21. See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2012. Of Grackles and Gratitude. Acts & Facts. 41 (7): 8-10. For another example, my mother-in-law, who survived being infected by the Spanish Flu, died last December, just 3 days before her 106 birthday.
3. Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Norwegian Rats, Archeologists, and Plagues of the Past. COVID-19 News. Posted on ICR.org April 30, 2020, accessed May 13, 2020. See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2016. Evolutionary Naturalism vs. Biblical Providence. Acts & Facts. 45(4):21.
4. Psalm 90:4-6 & 90:11-12, 90:14.
5. Matthew 6:19-21.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
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