The New World Symphony. On notes from Antonín Dvorák, Salisbury Cathedral in southwest England has been converted into a vaccination center. All day long, organists take turns to “create an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility»In the requisitioned place of worship.
The 13th-14th century building is one of three British cathedrals participating in the largest vaccination program in the country’s history. In a small chapel usually dedicated to prayers, a nurse takes out of the cold a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. After the injection, William Perry, 98, waits under the nave for the prescribed quarter of an hour to observe any possible side effects, sitting at a good distance from a farmer and a former policewoman. It is the first time that he left his home since last March and even if he does “a little wet», He does not regret it.
«It’s good to think that they are doing something so that I can still be around a few more weeks or years, until I am 100!»Rejoices this former engineer of the Royal Air Force, who maintained legendary Spitfire fighter planes during the Battle of Britain, during the Second World War. “I think I did my part for the countrySays William Perry, who after the war worked as a maintenance engineer at the British Post.
«Life and hope»
Like the cathedrals of Blackburn and Lichfield, that of Salisbury this weekend opened its gigantic doors to the massive program of the government, which plans to vaccinate the over 70 years and vulnerable people, or 15 million inhabitants, from here in mid-February. This week, 3,000 people are expected to be vaccinated at Salisbury Cathedral.
«The artisans of the Middle Ages built it like this 700 years ago because they wanted to point in a provocative and spectacular way towards life and hope, to point towards the kingdom of God.», Underlines the Reverend of the Cathedral, Nick Papadopoulos. “It is exactly the same with vaccination“, Continues the religious, for whom”it offers life and hope to the inhabitants of the city, the region and ultimately the world».
Johann Sebastian Bach or Ralph Vaughan Williams
In the cathedral, syringes prick the arms to the sound of the organ, recently renovated for around one million pounds sterling (1.1 million euros). Two organists perform soothing pieces by Bach, Dvořák and Ralph Vaughan Williams. “We hope to create an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility, just to get people to think of other things during the bite and help the teams through what would otherwise be a very, very long day.», Underlines the reverend.
Among those helping to keep operations running is 62-year-old Jeannie Grant, the daughter of the 98-year-old man who was vaccinated. Come to a place that has seen “so much history“Serving a”also wonderful goal for the population», «it’s very special“, She underlines, full of hope:”It will be wonderful when we are done with all of this and life can start to return to normal.»