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Nova does not use coroutines. It uses greenthreads from the eventlet library for concurrency within a process. They yield implicitly on IO rather than explicitly like a coroutine would (at least as I understand the difference). It does use multiple worker processes to get around the limitations of the Python GIL, but since this lock doesn't specify external=True (which would lock across processes instead of just threads) I don't think the multiple processes are relevant here.