Viral load: full

Realized today I’ve reached maximum Corona saturation. Which means I really topped out weeks ago, but seeing as I consume information and oxygen interchangeably, I was not careful to notice when too much was too much.

They say your gut is your “second brain,” though, so after the sixth(?) day of this IBS runs, (haha! oh how we laugh!), I had to wonder what was up. (Also, Corona panickers, stop fucking hoarding toilet paper, some of us need it right now.)

But considering that since the beginning, I have not actively sought out ANY information on the shit besides the breakdown on the ages catching it and the mortality rates, I’ve still been absolutely bombarded with everything I didn’t want to know about it at every fucking turn in at least two languages on every possible platform and outlet. For months.

And today, it was Too Fucking Much.

The Norms have started panicking in earnest and I just do not have the energy left to carry one drop of water for them or their fears.

See, I don’t like to brag, but I don’t ever have the privilege of walking through the world feeling even modestly invincible — not against health systems which are not set up for patients like me, with chronic and complex needs, during the BEST of times; not against economic systems that push those health systems farther out of reach during the BEST of times; and certainly not against microscopic invaders lurking anywhere/everywhere, ready to wreak havoc in my immuno-modulated body.

Maybe it’s maybelline, or maybe it’s the lifelong complex trauma history, chronic illnesses, a good eye for patterns, chronic pain, a chemo-customized immune system, being a long way from home, going through menopause and puberty at the same time…

Maybe it’s all of it, or none of it.

But from the first mention of this novel threat (which came in addition to the annual seasonal influenza threat, against which I cannot be effectively vaccinated), the question was never really

“oh no, what if I get Corona?” or “what can I do to keep from getting Corona?”

the question was always just

“How long until I get this?” and “Will this be one I can get better from, or the one that gets me?”

I don’t have the luxury of panicking.

Anxiety is the fear of fear, and panic is anxiety turned up to 11. You don’t panic in front of a firing squad; the inevitability precludes it. You might panic when a plane experiences turbulence and bounces around, but have you ever read survivor reports about what happens when one really crashes? It’s often eerily quiet, not screamy like in the movies, because once the uncertainty vanishes, so does a certain degree of the anxiety/panic.

And it’s not just me feeling stuck between damned and doomed. I WISH it were just me, so I could take my little whiny worry and wrap it up and bury it in a hole somewhere and sit on it until this thing passes, but there are so many others in the same or worse situation. Nicer people! People with jobs, and pretty smiles, and polite children, and bright futures! People who serve their communities, in spite of pain and limitations! People who are basically the polar opposite of me in every way, except they are also more likely to catch this fucking virus for no fair reason, and it could very well kill them.

So many valuable, vulnerable people out there who, in addition to all their other lacks, also lack the luxury of panic about this new threat. They can only add it to the stack of all the old threats — maybe build a cabin one day? Or at least a nice bonfire? I’lm brng mrfmrllws, I say through a mouthful of marshmallows.

In the meantime, I’ve muted my local grouptexts #indefinitely. I’m spending more time drinking (I mean, if these are the last days, I want them to be good ones), starting now. Well, 30 minutes ago, here’s mud in your eye.

I think self-congratulatory”social media fasts” are silly, but I’ll probably log in less for a bit — those who know me IRL are welcome to reach out directly in the meantime. I’m trying to avoid the public firehose, not real people who really matter.

18 Aug 2019, CVS pharmacy, Georgia, USA. But yeah, TOTALLY ready for this threat.

Cyber Security Theater: PayPal Edition

I’ve been trying to remove a now-closed checking account from my PayPal wallet for about 6 months now. Every time I’ve tried to do it myself, their site says there’s a pending transaction and won’t remove the account.

Never mind that there’s not a pending anything anywhere.

Today I had a few extra minutes and decided to call and make them produce evidence of this mysterious pending transaction and remove the stupid account and the debit card associated with it.

Once I finally got a real human person on the phone (no small feat), “Melody” needed to verify my identity by asking me five SOOPER SECURR questions.

Multiple choice questions, because it’s very very important that I, and only I, can know the answers.

Question 1: “Which of these cities is associated with you?”

A) City You Used to Work in
B) City That May Not Even Exist
C) CIty You Used to Live in

Well, City A is associated with me, but so is City C. When in doubt, pick C. Correct!

Question 2: “Which of these streets is associated with you?”

A) A Street
B) A Street You Used to Live on
C) Another Street

Woo hoo! I think I might pass this after all. The answer is B for Bring on all the questions!

Question 3: “Margaret Maidenname was born in what month?”

A) March
B) November
C) Sept–

Me: “Wait, who?!”

Melody: “Margaret Maidenname.”

Me: “I have no idea because MARGARET MAIDENNAME IS MY PARENTS’ GODDAMN DOG!”

Melody: gasp, awkward laughing “Oh, my” titter titter “uhh…”

Me: “I think she’s about 11, but even SHE doesn’t know what month she was born. How the hell do YOU know?”

Melody: “Ha ha, I’ll just choose ‘none of the above.’ Next question…”

Security Theater Game Over.  Exeunt Omnes.

Tl;dr: PayPal never could produce a “pending transaction” on my account, related to these payment sources or any other, but they did finally manually remove them probably. I’ll check back in a day or two to make sure.

My nagging Instagram improvements wishlist

I couldn’t find an offical place (in the Instagram app or online) to offer these humble suggestions, so I’m committing them here in an attempt to move on with my life.

BTW, I’m synapsecracklep0p on iG (yes, that “0” is a zero). My feed is 85% baby photos, 10% things I saw while thrifting, and 5% my Tysabri infusions count-up. Tl;dr MUST SEE TV.

Allow limited hyperlinks. Nobody wants Instagram (hereafter referred to as IG) to get all spammed up. We see enough sneaky pitches for body wraps, Romanian porn, and “get 363 new followers” (and I hope you’re reporting them, too).

But there are times when linking would really help broaden the conversations we have on IG. I would like to see the ability to link to images from my IG archive (most restrictive) or to other people’s IG archives (less restrictive).

Of course, they could blow the lid off and make links to any website clickable (unrestricted), but that’s not where I’d want to start.

Alternatively, it seems like IG could offer to make whatever-kind-of-links clickable when they’re from people you follow (most restrictive) or when they’re from people who follow you (less restrictive).

Make our past photos more findable. Every day, it gets harder to find past pics. Don’t make us feel like we’re sharing into a black hole! Surely there’s some way to shortcut back in time — by month? by year? by x00th pic? — when scrolling through our own (or others’) pics.

Make it easier to follow hashtags. This would be so useful for photo challenges or to learn about new topics. You could reinstate RSS for hashtags — I’d be okay with that, because NewsBlur makes it so easy to keep a finger on the pulse. But it would be lovely, too, for the IG app to offer a native way to do this as well.

Make it possible to group the people I follow It would nifty if I could group my follows by the affinities they naturally fall into, such as my twomom families, my MS family, my meatspace friends, my family-family.

Finally, and most importantly, make our pics and info portable. Most of us don’t have any plans to pick up and leave, but we also don’t want to lose all the time, effort, and heart we’ve put into sharing our memories. Offer us an easy way to download our pics with their captions and basic metadata, like when they were posted. Bonus points for even richer data, like number of likes.

Are you an IG user? What improvements are on your wish list?

About that Anthem data breach

Those who are at risk are customers of Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink, and DeCare.

Lovely! I’ve been customers of 2 of these. (But I guess the hackers already know that.)

Time to ruin my credit so nobody will want to steal it? Mall’s open until 9pm!!!

via Anthem data breach: Steps you need to take – CBS News.