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Watch: A Look Back At The Love Austinites Felt For Their City During The First Weeks Of The Pandemic

The Austin skyline from Zilker Park as seen on March 16.
Gabriel C. Pérez
The Austin skyline from Zilker Park as seen on March 16.

When Austin went into lockdown in March, no one knew what the following months would hold. How long would quarantine last? Were masks really effective? How much isolation could one human withstand?

Within a matter of days, residents saw SXSW canceled, schools converted to remote learning, and restaurants closed except for takeout. In this surreal new reality, KUT collected love letters from Austinites to their empty city as a way to make sense of the aspects of life that so suddenly disappeared.

Love Letter To An Empty Austin

Nine months later, the city has gone through stages of reopening and the first vaccines have arrived. But the daily threat of the virus still keeps many of us away from the parts of Austin we love most.

At the end of 2020, we’re revisiting a video inspired by these letters and reflecting on life in Austin since the start of the pandemic.

You can watch more of the love letters by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Julia Reihs is a photographer and videographer for KUT and KUTX. She covers daily news assignments and produces short-form documentary projects following local news and music.
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