By Aimée Julien

"Things that help me cope”. I’m an a epidemiologist working on COVID-19

1. Phone - needed tool to stay connected with my loved ones as they are spread around the world.
2. Bluetooth headphones - I got tired of my regular headphones and so recently purchased these cordless bluetooth ones, which have been an absolute essential for regular calls, work conference calls, and listening to my own stuff without disturbing others.
3. Rice crackers - I enjoy these for breakfast or as a healthy snack.
4. Tabasco - for some reason my partner and I have been a little obsessed with tabasco lately - it pairs perfectly with our other obsession (avocados)!
5. Avocado(s) - I am latina who grew up eating delicious avocados in Venezuela, so it is no surprise that avocados are one of my favorite fruits. I thoroughly enjoy them on their own or on toast, and they have been essential for lunch meals during lockdown. 
6.  Bluetooth speaker - always needed to better enjoy music or films' surround sound.
7. Hand sanitizer - well, given the current pandemic and the fact that I live with 2 doctors, one can never be too careful so this hand gel sanitizer is placed right at the entrance to our place. 
8. Lip balm - I just always need it.  But this particular one is now my favorite brand as well! 
9. Chocolate - this satisfies my sweet tooth any day any time! 
10. Kindle - as I spend a lot of time reading/writing for my PhD work, non-work related reading is also a must to keep me sane.   
11. Wine - I thoroughly enjoy a nice glass of wine (preferably red) and pandemics are just another excuse to partake :) 
12. Water bottle - I recently bought this water bottle and love it so much; but in general (regardless of bottle), I tend to drink water all day long.
13. Coffee - this is simply an essential beverage, like water, and not only while on lockdown. 
14. Portable/collapsible laptop stand - this was an essential purchase to keep my working environment as ergonomic as possible. 
15. Laptop - my work is almost 100% remote, so my laptop is probably the #1 essential item on this list at this point.