Sharing Our Gifts

Sharing Our Gifts

If you missed this it’s worth revisiting:

Yo-Yo Ma played a surprise concert for a clinic during his post-vaccination waiting period

By Paulina Firozi / The Washington Post

In an airy, sunny gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, under basketball hoops and banners, in front of people freshly pricked and waiting for minutes to pass, Yo-Yo Ma played a little Bach.

The world-renowned cellist, who is 65, had gone to the vaccination clinic at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass., for his second coronavirus vaccine dose, according to clinic organizers. After getting his shot, he took a seat along a padded blue wall of the gym, near others waiting out their 15-minute post-vaccination observation time, and surprised them with a performance.

Leslie Drager, the lead clinical manager for the vaccination site, said that when Ma started to play, the whole place went quiet.

“It was so weird how peaceful the whole building became, just having a little bit of music in the background,” said Drager, who is the lead public health nurse for Berkshire Public Health Alliance.

She said the vaccination site has nine stations of nurses administering doses. On Saturday, 1,102 shots were administered — all second doses. Ma arrived toward the end of the day.

Hilary Bashara, a nurse administering vaccinations at the clinic, said she administered both of Ma’s doses.

The first time, Bashara said, she noticed Ma as he took in his surroundings.

“Most people, they are busy, they’re sort of anxious and waiting — he was different,” she said. “I just watched his face, and he was looking about the room and his face generated such warmth, it felt like he was smiling under his mask. When he got up to where I was, he was like, ‘Thank you so much for being here.’ ”

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