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Centenarians in Lockdown

Joe Newman and Anita Sampson
(Image courtesy of ABC Action News)

Joe Newman is 107 years old. He was 5 during the flu pandemic of 1918. Today, he lives in a senior apartment complex in Sarasota, Florida with his fiancé, Anita Sampson. The complex is on lockdown, so we sent them a recorder and they interviewed each other on Anita’s 100th birthday.

This story is the first in our series Hunker Down Diaries, surprising stories from people thrown together by the pandemic. Produced in collaboration with NPR. In the coming weeks we’ll be bringing you more stories about a teenager in foster care, the daily life of hospital workers, and a couple who decided to quarantine together after their first date. If you have an idea for the series we’d love to hear from you. Send your quarantine stories to hunkerdown@radiodiaries.org. Or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


This story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered.

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