Stories from quarantine: Our pandemic essentials


Anna Vazhaeparambil

A collection of flat lays taken to share the essential items keeping student journalists safe, healthy and happy during their time at home.

By Anna Vazhaeparambil, Varsha Rammohan, and Irina Malyugina

Both yearbook and newspaper staffs spent time creating their own pandemic flat lays, an array of the essentials that are keeping them safe, healthy and happy during this time. Take a peek at student journalists’ must-haves during quarantine: these photos include everything from journals and cookbooks to ballet shoes and hoverboards, painting a diverse picture of the necessities and hobbies that keep us going while stuck at home.

Lauren Liu
My pandemic survival kit includes my favorite books, origami, various art mediums and my iPad. Cranes symbolize peace and tranquility, two emotional states that are crucial for all of our well-beings, especially during these disorienting times.
Smrithi Sambamurthy
My pandemic essentials include my laptop, journal, color pencils, watercolor and coffee. These items keep me busy during quarantine.
Saahil Thoppay
The objects I need during a pandemic are my hoverboard, chromecast, book, cheese, drone, google home and my headset. The hoverboard is so I can have fun, the cheese is for eating, the drone is for entertainment, and the headset is for listening to songs.
Olivia Guo
My pandemic essentials include my computer, earbuds, sketchbook, mildliners, a thin pen and a polaroid. These allow me to explore my passions with music and art, while reminding myself of the people that comfort me.
Shreya Srinivasan
My pandemic essentials include my laptop, scrunchies, my phone, AirPods, a sweatshirt, colorful pens and Cookies ‘N’ Creme Hershey’s Kisses. I use these items to keep myself entertained and comfortable during quarantine.
Nilisha Baid
My pandemic essentials include fuzzy slippers, my notebook (for art), my positivity jar, my laptop (for literally everything), some pens (Pilot G2s of course), various types of chocolate, my AirPods and my watch (to remind me to exercise).
Srinath Somasundaram
My pandemic survival kit consists of a mouse (and its cute mousepad), my laptop, a book of the week and chocolates and a water bottle for sustenance. Together, these items enable me to stay connected to reality and to my friends as the pandemic attempts to separate me from both.
Saloni Shah
My pandemic survival kit includes objects that I can’t spend a day without. From stuffed animals to cheerios to calculators to headphones, each and every object holds a place in my heart.
Arushi Saxena
My pandemic kit lays strewn across a fuzzy blue blanket. Among my necessary items are post-its, my AirPods, my music and coffee.
Anika Mani
My pandemic survival kit includes my laptop, phone, Apple Watch, headphones, lip balm, nail polish, hand sanitizer, candle and scrunchies. These daily essentials keep me occupied at home during this difficult time.
Irina Malyugina
My quarantine essentials are a faux leather, grid-paper notebook for writing down ideas and jotting down quick notes, pointe shoes for partaking in remote dance classes, origami paper for honing my skills in between commitments, quality stationery for studying from home effectively and, of course, my phone. For sanity, my “survival kit” also includes a healthy dose of the outdoors and work on my machine learning projects, for which I use my trusty MacBook Pro.
Michael Eng
The objects I need for during a pandemic are my books, snacks, shirts, modeling kit and calculator. Notice how the snack bags are very deflated.

This story continues on Harker Aquila and was originally published on April 20, 2020.