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Centenarians in Lockdown

When the 1918 flu pandemic broke out, Joe Newman was 5 years old. Today, he's 107. He lives in a community for seniors in Sarasota, Fla., with his fiancée, Anita Sampson.

2020 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2020 / Joe Richman / Sarah Kate Kramer / Nellie Gilles / Deborah George / Ben Shapiro / Radio Diaries, USA

When the 1918 flu pandemic broke out, Joe Newman was 5 years old. Today, he's 107. He lives in a community for seniors in Sarasota, Fla., with his fiancée, Anita Sampson.

They met 16 years ago. On March 28, Anita turned 100. They had planned a big party, with cake and karaoke. But because of the coronavirus, their community is on lockdown. We sent them a (well sanitized) recorder so they could interview each other on Anita's 100th birthday.

Centenarians in Lockdown was produced by Nellie Gilles, Sarah Kate Kramer and Joe Richman of Radio Diaries . It was edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro and originally aired on NPR. Part of the Hunker Down Diaries Series.


produced by

Deborah George

Deborah George is the Senior Editor for Radio Diaries, and has recently served as Senior Supervising Editor for NPR and Senior Radio Editor for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro is a New York-based documentarian working in film, television, and radio.


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