I previously worked at Rostock University Library for two years. I’m Leon and I live with my mother, she separated from my dad a long time ago. My dad left us when I was five years old and we never saw him again. He moved to the Netherlands with his new wife and they never returned to Germany. Mom and I learned to handle our own lives very well.

After my dad left, mom couldn’t have paid for the rent and taxes, so we had to move to my grandpa’s house and stay there for a while. My mom started giving private piano lessons to save money for my school and when school started she worked two jobs. She started working at the food shelf at my school so she could see me during the day. She loved kids and kids loved her.

By the time I started high school we had enough money to move out from my grandpa’s house.

I was 16 when I became disgusted with sitting on the chair of the school bus, eating something that was made outside our home, touching the desks at school, and shaking other people’s hand; even the cool air of the breath of someone speaking to me -I was increasingly disgusted with it all! I used to come home and wash my hands like ten times and take long showers. I had lost my chill and couldn’t even focus on my studying.

Life became devastating and I finally admitted that my mom was right. I needed help!

After a few sessions of consulting a psychiatrist, he submitted that I had obsessive-compulsive disorder. With the suggestion of the doctor, I went on camping and mountain trips almost every day. It took me some time to get used to it and I don’t know how, but nature helped! I sometimes used to forget that I was supposed to get disgusted. I can’t tell you I was fully recovered, though. I lost two years of high school because of the camping and mountain trips. But it was worth it. I didn’t want to continue with school. My disgust all started there so I feared it could grow back.

I got a job in a university library in 2018 and Life was better. I used to wear plastic gloves while organizing the books or touching them. I sometimes noticed people looking or sometimes even laughing at me. I became used to it but felt judged and insecure.

When the coronavirus came to Germany, I felt like a psychic or some wise person. I’m not saying that what I had been doing was right or healthy, but I’m happy that now people are more careful of what they touch or get close to. My obsession is back but it’s not as bad as it used to be. I stayed away from the library because it was a public area with a high chance of getting ill. Besides, it was closed.

I have been staying home with my mom for two and a half years now. I want the virus to go away asap, but I’m happy that I am not called delusional for getting bothered by touching stuff that might not be clean. I don’t think I would ever get germs including COVID-19 itself because I’m really careful and informed about it.