Vaccines and US

Power of Community

In a time of darkness and loneliness, it is our communities that give us light. They remind us we are not alone even when we are apart. During the pandemic, friends and neighbors have comforted each other and supported those in need. The following stories show the power of community and the remarkable ways individuals can adapt to challenges and help one another.

Healthcare Heroes

These amazing women worked on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic and were honored by Mattel Inc. with a doll created in their likeness. They took a moment out of their busy lives to share their perspectives on the COVID-19 vaccines.

Professional Voices

Professionals working in the sciences and medicine share their views on the importance of getting vaccinated.

Our Voices

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and facing adversity. The very act of sharing our personal stories can be therapeutic. Knowing the stories of others can ease feelings of isolation when we see how our stories are the same, or it can foster empathy around struggles that we have not seen. As you read these collected stories, consider your own. What does it mean to be a part of history? How do our actions shape the future?

Artists' Respond

Artists and designers rose to the challenges of COVID-19 in ways both practical and sublime. Artists crafted beautiful and expressive masks, gave voice to our hopes and fears, and offered peaceful contemplation and solace through the visual arts, music, and poetry.

Music All Around


Slowick: For 16 months, the music hall here at the National Museum of American History has been shuttered, lying empty and silent until the pandemic has subsided to the point where we can safely welcome back our audiences. To help that day come sooner, do your part and get vaccinated, and then come to a concert to experience the magic that unfolds when live music is performed in an intimate space for a group of attentive and focused listeners.

Ken Slowik

The music hall at the National Museum of American History has been shuttered until we can safely welcome back our audiences. To help that day come sooner, do your part and get vaccinated.


Hello. My name's Richard. I'm with the Northport Pipe and Drum Band based out of the village of Northport, New York. And on behalf of our marching band, I'd like to say that we're all very excited to get back out into the community and to take part in all the usual parades and summer activities that we've missed so much over the past year. And now that so many of us have gotten vaccinated, it's time for us to get back out there and play these pipes. So please enjoy the tune that we've submitted. Thank you.

Richard Masciandaro

On behalf of the Northport Pipe and Drum Band, Masciandaro shares the excitement of playing for the community as so many have gotten vaccinated.


I hope you enjoy the talents of the many professional museums assembled on the Smithsonian Vaccines & US website. I believe I can speak on behalf of thousands of amateur musicians all across the country who, like me, have grown weary of playing duets with ourselves and taking lessons over Zoom. 

We are looking so forward to returning to our community orchestras, our summer band shells, and our …

And that time could be somewhere in the very near future if we all have the confidence, the faith, and the good will towards each other to just get vaccinated. Thank you.

Patricia Matos Puente

Patricia Matos Puente performs Non piu andrai from Le Nozze di Figaro and shares how much she is looking forward to returning to a future of live audiences if we all have the confidence, the faith, and the good will towards each other to get vaccinated.


Greetings from the Long Island piano duo. We, Yelena and Vladimir Polezhayev, perform and promote classical music for many years. We miss all our concerts and concert tours and look forward to performing in front of a live audience again soon.

The Long Island Duo

Accomplished pianists Yelena and Vladimir Polezhayev perform A. Piazzola – Libertango and describe how they miss live audiences. 


Don Sherman (00:01):
Hi, I'm Don Sherman, Director of the Northport Community Band on Long Island's North Shore. Every summer, since 1959, we have gathered local musicians to present free concerts in our village park by the edge of Northport Harbor. And of course, the pandemic meant that our 2020 season was a virtual one. It was rewarding to put together five concert videos to post on social media last summer, but real music is a live partnership between musicians and audiences who are sharing the same air. So, this summer, our entire membership has been vaccinated, which is something that simplifies so many hurdles for rehearsing and performing in public.

Don Sherman (00:40):
We are so looking forward to resuming a live concert schedule beginning July 1st, that we're naming ourselves the Northport Immunity Band. Last spring, when it became clear that a live 2020 season wasn't going to be likely, I got together with three of my closest friends to play a one-minute adaptation of F.W. Meacham's famous march, American Patrol. This version gradually morphs from the original patriotic style of 1885 to Glenn Miller's 1942 swing version, in the same way that we're all gradually relaxing into the normal life that the vaccine is making possible. Give it a shot. (silence)

Don Sherman

Donald Sherman is a euphonium player and member/arranger for the Long Island Tuba Quartet. He conducts the Northport Community Band, a group that has performed every summer in Long Island, NY since 1959.

Community Resilience

Learn how communities are caring for one another and the ways that we are caring for ourselves following the traditions of our communities and cultures.

National Museum of the American Indian

Grassroots Responses on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations

Learn about an Indigenous-led operation to aid vulnerable families on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. 

Smithsonian Gardens

Gardens of Resilience

Panelists share their thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on gardening communities and discuss the green spaces that traditionally provide solace, feelings of self-sufficiency, and improvements in physical and mental well-being.

National Museum of American History

Comfort Food During a Pandemic

COVID-19 quarantines pushed many Americans to change their way of life. With restaurant visits largely out of the picture, people turned to their own kitchens for sustenance and solace.

Last update: May 11, 2022