The recently-crowned world’s oldest man today admitted he is ‘worried’ about the coronavirus – but insists it’s not a patch on the 1918 Spanish flu.
Bob Weighton remembers seeing the crisis start in his youth, after soldiers fighting in World War One returned home and brought the disease with them.
Around a third of the global population was infected with flu in the pandemic, which caused between 50 million and 100 million people to die worldwide.
The 111-year-old has taken to washing his hands more frequently and using a nailbrush to scrub under his nails.
‘I’m very worried about coronavirus – everyone should be,’ he said.
‘I should be worried about myself but I’ve lived long enough. But I’m more worried for my children and grandchildren.
‘I’m washing my hands more and using a nailbrush to clean my nails properly. I’m being much more cautious.
‘The numbers of people dying in China is scary.
‘But in Europe and elsewhere, the numbers are still not reaching the millions that died of the Spanish flu.
‘I hope they never do. But you never know how bad the coronavirus will get. You just have to do the best you can and not worry.’
He added: ‘I was only ten at the time of the Spanish flu.
‘I remember hearing stories going round and reading newspaper articles – as I am doing now with the coverage of coronavirus – about people getting the Spanish flu and dying. But luckily I never got it.’