I’ve never been much of a conspiracy theorist, but am sure getting there.

Recently, I tried to get in to see a banker — any banker, any bank — with a question. They were all booked out for two weeks or more and you had to have an appointment. Of course, they all blamed the idiocy on COVID-19. But! You’re welcome to go online to conduct all of your banking! Isn’t that swell?

At about the same time, my husband needed to stop by the ATM for some cash as we set out for Mexican food at our favorite place in Pinetop. Nope. As usual these days, the ATM wasn’t functioning. Luckily, I had enough currency to cover lunch and Phillip gets to pay next time.

On entering Pinetop, we stopped in at the only store that sells the sudoku books we’re both addicted to. I ran in to get a handful of books and got to the register only to find that it had been automated. I called out to the gal stocking shelves and got only an echo. I pay cash for this sort of purchase and wasn’t willing to learn something new while shrimp and mushrooms awaited, so I parked the books at the “register” and left.

Then, a couple of weeks ago in the WMI, the county issued an article with numerous statements directing all of us to their online “dashboard” to try to figure out how to get a COVID-19 vaccination. What possible logic is there in not allowing seniors to make those arrangements through their doctor’s office? It’s almost like Andrew Cuomo is making the arrangements.

The common thread in all of these vignettes is that, if you’re my age or older, you are being coerced, with the backing of all levels of government, into an online, cashless society. Young people love it and don’t see the dangers lurking in having your every cent and all of your medical interactions at the mercy of a cybercriminal.

For many people of a certain age, online security is an almost impossible task. Sure, they can initiate an account, but the ongoing pimping involved in trying to update and remember ever-changing protocols and passwords is so aggravating that many elders don’t even try to keep up with it. There’s nary a week that warnings don’t go out about some institution whose “secure” files have been hacked. Who suffers the most from those incidents? Old folks.

We’re also the most susceptible to scams originating with our cellphones. I’m sure that, like me, you know several people who have answered the phone when they shouldn’t have and suffered the consequences.

I’m no Watson, but like many seniors, I’m proficient with the tech that I use daily. Not so much with sites, apps and procedures that are new to me.

I know just enough about online security to know that I don’t trust it as far as I can throw my desktop.

If we old geezers were almost any other ‘minority,’ the ACLU would be eager to advocate for us, but we’re just old, expendable conspiracy theorists.

(2) comments

Maybe

Thank you for your words. Elders are discriminated in the medical world too. I learned the hard way. With the Affordable care Act's 10,000 page passing, a section confused coders when it stated "When a polyp is removed during a colonoscopy the preventative procedure changes to one that is diagnostic. It is referring to patients receiving Medicare not private insurance. As diagnostic, the patients are now billed according to their deductibles and copayments. This defeats the whole purpose of colonoscopies to catch cancer early to avoid huge bills and face possible death. Unfortunately, doctors are paid more when it is diagnostic and dropping the preventative code is not illegal. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona told me as such. They also told me if the doctor keeps the preventative code as the primary (why the procedure was initiated), it is still covered 100%. Why would a doctor not want to keep their patients bills lower? Ask A Daniel Greco. Maybe he has an answer other than what he told me.

johndoe

This is very true in the banking industry. They are discriminating against anyone who doesn't want to use technology and not just seniors. It is all under the guise of being more convenient for their customers but we all know what it really boils down to...fewer human beings employed at the branch level. I here will also sound like a conspiracy nut but it sure seems like they are trying to replace us all with machines. Self check out at even the local gas station has showed up recently. All the big banks want you to use their mobile app to do everything now days. I agree it's time to file some class action law suits!

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