Coronavirus confidential

I have a little secret. I am kind of enjoying this era of enforced isolation occasioned by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Sure, there are days when I awaken feeling that I'm living the plot of "Groundhog Day." And I do worry for myself, my loved ones, my friends and even strangers who may become severely ill. Yet I can't help feeling a sense of peace and contentment most of the time.

I have always loved my solitude. Most days, there is nothing I would rather do than daydream, read a good book or do some writing. I love quiet walks early in the morning before the summer heat gets too intense. And I can spend hours at my piano playing classical pieces or movie tunes. All of my ideal occupations are solitary ones.

Without the ability to do frivolous errands or unnecessary shopping, I have felt a sense of freedom. Prior to the stay at home order in March, I always felt the stress of a busy schedule. Between my own appointments and my daughter's school and sports schedules, my days were fairly hectic. Now I find myself looking for ways to fill my days. My house has never been cleaner or more orderly!

As the country has started opening up, I have been jealously guarding my health and my newfound sense of peace. I see the outdoor dining scene in downtown Hinsdale but feel no sense of urgency to participate. I am a bit tired of having to cook so much, though. I miss my friends and the ease of taking a walk or having coffee with one of them. So many special events have been canceled or postponed: weddings, graduations, family parties. I do mourn the loss of these memory-making times. Yet I am reluctant to leave my socially distanced bubble.

I realize that I am immensely privileged to be able to stay home and weather the pandemic in relative safety. So many people have to venture out on a day-to-day basis to work in essential businesses or healthcare facilities. I am careful to do my part by wearing a mask in public, keeping my distance from others and staying home unless I really need to go out.

In years to come, after life has gotten back to normal, we will all be able to reflect on this difficult period in our history. For myself, I am going to try to maintain some of the more positive habits I have developed during the COVID-19 crisis. Mostly, I will try to enjoy life's simple pleasures with a sense of gratitude and the attitude, "What, me hurry?"

- Mary Rayis of Hinsdale is a former contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].