What are the small things bringing Chicagoans joy during the coronavirus pandemic?

Extra sleep. Home-delivered groceries. More time with family. Wine. Hanging onto a full-time job. Joe Exotic from ‘Tiger King.’ Working technology. A pet beagle named Mia.

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Having space to yourself, like this pigeon has at Lake Street and Clark Street in the Loop, is one of the small things that Chicagoans say bring them a little joy during the pandemic.

Having space to yourself, like this pigeon has at Lake Street and Clark Street in the Loop, is one of the small things that Chicagoans say bring them a little joy during the pandemic.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

It might be your morning cup of coffee, or waving hello to your mail carrier. That great yoga instructor you found on YouTube. FaceTiming with your family at the end of the day.

We asked Chicagoans what are the little things that are bringing them joy amid all the stress surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“Spending time with my beagle Mia and talking to my aunt everyday who lives in Puerto Rico.” — Lyn Parker

“My grandson has come to stay with me and do my shopping.” — Phyllis Nash

“Extra sleep, extra exercise, extra listening to music, extra time with my dogs, who are happier now that I am home more often.” — Frank Collins

“Time with my 7-year-old daughter. Normally, I travel two to three weeks a month and miss her terribly. It will be hard to go back to that schedule again.” — Kristine Hulce Romano

“I had hand surgery March 6, and I get to recover at home. It’s my right hand, and I’m right-handed, so hair, makeup, zippers and even eating are awkward to impossible. I am spared being a public wreck.” — Mary Jane Tala

“Technology is working the way it should, allowing us to work and stay informed.” — Mark Ruda

“My local coffee spot opted to do home delivery of coffee (whole beans or ground), and excellent coffee every morning has been wonderful. I just shipped out some to a nurse friend in New York and another friend in Florida.” — Maximo Emilio

“Knowing that, when push comes to shove, people really are kind to one another.” — Anna Baer Poskonka

“A bunny rabbit comes out every night at 6 p.m. in my backyard looking for food. So I adopted him.” — Crystal Ramirez

“Caring for my grandson while his parents work from home. Added bonus: The drive into Chicago is a breeze with no traffic.” — Christine Schaefer

“Grocery delivery. I may never physically shop in a grocery store again. I have never liked going to the grocery store, so this shopping online and getting it dropped off on my step is perfect.” — Betty Mantell

“Being able to see pictures of my family and texting with my kids and friends. That and booze.” — Alex B G Owens

“People being 6 feet away from me. It’s always been annoying when people invade my personal space. Also enjoy how much quieter the world is.” — Cherri Arnold

“My loved ones being safe and well. “ — Jo Ann Fields

“Looking at old photos and enjoying the accompanying memories.” — Shelley Costello

“Video chats with my kids and grandkids.” — Gayle McGehee Wittenborn 

“Being able to stay home and not wake up so early and have to rush rush rush.” — Allison May

“Converting a big chunk of our backyard into a second vegetable garden. We are so excited to grow even more of our own food this summer.” — Deanna Swedish Fritzinger

“It’s a blessing to be able to still have a job, it’s something I won’t ever take for granted.” — Mike Orsby

“Spending more time with my family.” — Raja Subramanian

“Being able to be home with my dogs.” — Jessica V. Cortés-Negrón

“Chocolate, coffee, polenta with nuts, cheese and bacon and my husband’s sense of humor.” — Julia B. Meyer

“Getting projects done and being more organized, as I have so much time to fill.” — Mary V. Czarnik

“Rereading past favorite novels.” — Judy Mullen

“Learning French with Doulingo and Comme une Francais, cooking and eating meals from scratch and starting seeds for a garden.” — David Mroczkowski 

“Having food to eat and still being able to pay bills.” — Nae Nae DuBose

“Joe Exotic from ‘Tiger King.’ Bless him.” — Pooja Khungar

“Planning to get a pool in our yard.” — Ken Julie Bird

“Teaching my grandson how to play gin rummy. He has beaten me twice already.” — Ruby Jones

“Looking for red cardinals in the tree when I take the trash out. They give me joy and hope.” — Gwen Thomas

“Wine.” — Julia Monette

“My plants blooming.” — Crystal Ramirez

“Having my iced tea daily.” — Greta Berna

“My early morning (deserted) nature walk.” — Richard Rodarte

“Good news. The number of those that have recovered gives you hope.” — Laurene Banks

“Early bedtime! What else is there to do?” — Amma Mae

“I don’t feel guilty about not accepting invitations to social gatherings and seeming unsocial.” — Gloria Muñoz

“The approaching spring.” — Gregg Schroeder

“Whipped cream on my coffee.” — Gina Lamay

“Slowing down and not rushing.” — Day Zee

“Fresh flower bouquets.” — Antoinette Marie

We’re making our vital coronavirus coverage free for all readers. See the latest news here. If you’re out of work during the shutdown, here’s how to apply for unemployment benefits.

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