For millions of Europeans, COVID-19 containment measures created a longing for activities and daily routines previously taken for granted. Unfortunately, in Austria current infection rates are raising the specter of a second lockdown.

During the initial lockdown, one of the hardest separations for me was the closing of my university’s campus. I especially missed not being able to study at the obscure desks hidden among the deep stacks and in-between-floors of the library.

Time stands still in the stacks of the KFU library system

My older brother, who unfortunately passed far too early, was a university librarian. When I’m hunkered down in the bowels of the biblio-beast – where E-books are unheard of and forgotten tomes are stored on squeaky hand-cranked shelves, where AV equipment from yesteryear is saved for ambiguous purposes and time stands still (it was 10:40 when I took the photo) – I imagine him rounding the corner of the stacks tracking down some juicy tidbit of arcane knowledge. I look up from my book and smile.

I hope we can avoid a second lockdown. I would hate to be robbed of my memories even if they are self-created fantasies.

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