Yo-Yo Ma Plays Cello in Waiting Room After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

He received his second dose on Saturday

Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma performs on SiriusXM's Symphony Hall hosted by David Srebnik at SiriusXM Washington D.C. Studios on June 25, 2018.
Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 can involve a short waiting period — specifically, waiting in a room for 15 minutes after you get your shot to make sure no adverse effects develop. This is something that applies to everyone who gets the vaccine, whether you’re a teacher, a first responder or an internationally-renowned cellist. There is a side benefit to being the last of those, though.

On Saturday, cellist Yo-Yo Ma received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Berkshire Community College. He then waited for 15 minutes to pass — but as the Berkshire Daily Eagle reports, he also opted to bring his instrument along to the vaccination site. He then spent the 15 minutes he needed to wait playing his cello for the other people in the waiting room.

It’s very much in keeping with the cellist’s advocacy for music and art during the pandemic. A year ago, the Daily Eagle notes, he began sharing clips on social media of the music that brought him comfort in the hopes that others might have a similar reaction. He and Emmanuel Ax have also performed concerts for essential workers.

During a time when the role of art in a crisis is heatedly debated, Yo-Yo Ma’s actions and his music have emphatically made the case for their importance and necessity. His impromptu performance this weekend stands as further evidence of that.

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