Robert Cormack

3 months ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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I Just Lost 2,000 Followers To Covid.

 

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I’m as unpopular as an electric eel in a pool of catfish.” Edith Sitwell

Something truly unsettling has occurred, something I hold up as evidence we’re not out of the pandemic woods yet. Earlier this weekend, I checked my followers on Medium. In one day, they dropped from 8.6k to 6.6k. How do followers just disappear? And why so many in such a short space of time? I can only think of one explanation: They’re dead.

Okay, maybe not dead per se. It’s possible they’re in ICUs, figuring they might die, so they should cancel their Medium subscription. Or they might live, in which case they’re cancelling because they plan to take up more active pursuits like line dancing or arc welding.

That said, I’m still going with “dead.” since it coincides nicely with my belief that the government, and the CDC, are telling us the “worst is behind us,” when clearly it isn’t. How can the worst be over when I’ve just lost two thousand followers? What other explanation can there be?

This is a pernicious virus and not one to be trifled with. Think back in history (which I do whenever I’m making a point about pernicious diseases).

No, they’re likely dead, meaning lots of people (even non-readers) are dead. If the CDC saw my drastic drop in followers, surely they’d reverse any decision to open this country up. This is a pernicious virus and not one to be trifled with. Think back in history (which I do whenever I’m making a point about pernicious diseases).

Remember Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon), an Irish-born cook believed to have infected over 53 people? Because she was asymptomatic, she spread typhoid fever-like lip gloss at a Burning Man festival, until she was finally apprehended, spending the last 30 years of her life in quarantine.

If Typhoid Mary was the poster child of the “unwanted ill,” surely this is way worse. How do you compare fifty-three infected New Yorkers to my loss of two thousand followers? And where are the bodies? Shouldn’t we be worried? Shouldn’t Medium be worried? I seriously think Ev Williams needs to put a whole flock of editors on this before Typhoid Mary looks like a pansy picnic by comparison.

And we’ll lose such journalistic gems as “How I Earned $2,800 On A Piece I Wrote In Ten Minutes!”

At least make sure these followers aren’t in ICUs some place, ready to do something drastic like cancelling their subscriptions entirely. Once that happens, some of the most popular writers here will be forced to live on peanuts. And we’ll lose such journalistic gems as “How I Earned $2,800 On A Piece I Wrote In Ten Minutes!”

Imagine the cries of injustice, the throwing of temper tantrums, the possible window jumpers (I’m ground floor, so don’t worry about me). No, we have to find these followers, saving those still living, and burying the rest. More importantly, we have to alert the authorities. If this pandemic is killing the seldom-seen-in-public introverts and online junkies (Medium readers), what hope is there for the rest of the world?

I’m not here to cause panic or concern (although, God knows I’ve tried with my articles in the past). I just think it’s critical that the world knows I’ve lost 2,000 followers.

I’m not here to cause panic or concern (although, God knows I’ve tried with my articles in the past). I just think it’s critical that the world knows I’ve lost 2,000 followers. I consider these people family. Not in the Biblical way, obviously, but I do consider followers to be familial, and occasionally I’ve written “How’re you doin’?” when the comments warrant some sort of friendly response (unless it’s someone who’s far too opinionated on the subject of my face).

I’d also like to address this rumour that the sudden drop in followers is the result of Medium getting rid of scammers. As much as I appreciate the removal of these people (if they are, in fact, people), my followers have joined me one by one (I know this because I’ve thanked them profusely one by one). If I’ve been thanking scammers profusely, I’m embarrassed. I don’t even thank my family profusely. Something to think about, obviously.

I’d also like to increase my following since I’ve got what you might call “empty seats.”

I still think the “dead” angle is worth exploring. We’re in a pandemic, after all, and you can’t be too careful. Before I docontact the CDC or other proper authorities, however, I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who’s lost followers and feels the same sense of loss or possibly betrayal.

These are confusing times. I’d like to get to the bottom of this. I’d also like to increase my following since I’ve got what you might call “empty seats.” I’m open for business, in other words. Not begging (okay, maybe a little — just don’t tell the scammers that).

Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Robert’s other work at robertcormack.net

 

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