By Andrea Conway
It has been 18 months since my kidney transplant and several years since I have performed on a regular basis. In theory, this was the year my beloved husband/comedy tap dancing partner and I would return to the stage.
Alas, as the world turned on a dime. Covid-19 made it difficult for many around the world to earn a living. There have been many different opinions on how to handle this epidemic and how long it will last but no one knows what’s going to happen. My husband and I are taking social distancing very seriously. As a kidney transplant recipient (see past articles on Le Tour’s website), the anti-rejection drugs I take drastically lower my immune system putting me at high risk for infection. I have developed a meaningful relationship with my donor’s family and feel an extra responsibility to keep myself and my new kidney safe.
Some people might think the whole thing is exaggerated. I don’t believe it is for those like myself who are vulnerable due to health issues. There has been a devastating number of missed opportunities for everyone, both financial and emotional. I sadly lost my brother in January and for whom our family was to celebrate his life in the spring. Closure therefore has been much more difficult. Not being able to be with my family has been very hard emotionally during this time especially as a relatively young person, I am unable to visit or help my aging parents.
As things start to open up and people are more mobile it is different for those of us who are in the high-risk bracket. We will probably be the last to get back to so called “normal”. We all must remain positive and support each other. A lot can be discovered by being still.
This summer is going to be very different for everyone. We were planning to present a first reading of a play I wrote during the Tour Des Arts. Now, we are focused on expanding our garden so we can be a little more self-sufficient. How fortunate to live in an area where this is possible.
The other night I foraged for our dinner. I made wild garlic pesto on pasta with a salad made of dandelion leaves, baby kale that had over-wintered in the garden, salad Burnet (a small-leaved perennial that I had planted a couple of years ago), sorrel, mint, and lovage. Wayne, my husband, was super impressed saying, “My wife is feeding me weeds and they’re delicious!” It is incredible how resourceful we humans can be when we put our minds to it.
What an opportunity for us as a society to reassess our consumerism. As well as the over-importance that has been placed on monopolized capitalism. It is an amazing time to evaluate what is important in our lives. I’m particularly excited to apply what my husband and I have been honing for years on stage and explore new ways of sharing our art with the world. It just might have to be from home!
A special thank you to all who take this seriously! The essential workers, volunteers and especially our incredible neighbors who have selflessly volunteered to do our grocery shopping on a regular basis – we can’t thank you enough!