Receiving a second COVID vaccine dose is often a cause for celebration and, in one Massachusetts clinic, legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma marked the occasion with a surprise recital.
Ma was pictured playing the cello while wearing a mask and sitting on a plastic chair at the Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts during his 15-minute observation period after getting the jab on Saturday.
Ma ‘wanted to give something back,’ Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told The Berkshire Eagle, describing it as a ‘very special’ concert that was greeted with warm applause from listeners.
Legendary cellist Yo-Yo is seen above performing a pop-up concert after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts on Saturday
Ma ‘wanted to give something back,’ Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told The Berkshire Eagle, describing it as a ‘very special’ concert that was greeted with warm applause from listeners
The ‘audience’ – a group of local residents who arrived at the clinic to get their vaccine – is seen above at the socially distanced ‘concert’ on Saturday
‘What a way to end the clinic,’ wrote Hall in an email.
A clip on the recital was posted on the college’s Facebook page.
The quick concert came a year after the 65-year-old cellist started posting recordings of himself using the hashtag #SongsOfComfort on social media.
‘In these days of anxiety,’ he wrote on Twitter on March 13, 2020, ‘I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort.’
Since then, he also has played surprise pop-up concerts for essential workers.
The soloist has also performed online on several occasions in memory of the victims of the pandemic and in honor of medical personnel.
Ma is an American cellist. Born to Chinese parents in Paris, France, he was considered a child prodigy, having started performing beginning at the age of four-and-a-half years old.
Ma (seen above in 2019) has won 18 Grammy Awards over the course of his illustrious career
A graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, Ma has performed both as a soloist and with orchestras around the world.
Last year, he was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020.
Over the course of his career, he has won 18 Grammy Awards, including five for best chamber music performance and four for best instrumental soloist performance.
In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The number of vaccine doses distributed and administered each day in the United States is rising, with more than 2.5 million daily shots in arms on average in the last week.
About 1 in 5 Americans – or roughly 69 million people – have received at least one dose, with about 1 in 9 fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 36.9 million Americans have received both doses of the two-shot vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to Bloomberg COVID-19 Tracker.
The coronavirus is blamed for over 530,000 deaths in the United States.
Deaths and newly confirmed infections per day have tumbled over the past two months.
But cases are running at a still-troubling average of about 55,000 a day.
President Joe Biden has directed his administration to order another 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, growing a likely US surplus of doses later this year while much of the rest of the world struggles with deep shortages.
Even before Wednesday’s order, the U.S. was to have enough approved vaccine delivered by mid-May to cover every adult and enough for 400 million people total by the end of July.
Enough doses to cover 200 million more people are on order should vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The new J&J doses, which would cover another 100 million people, are expected to be delivered in the latter half of the year.