Plainly she does NOT have 81,000 followers.
Medium should make a very simple change: if one of your followers has not actually given any of your articles X amount of read time in the past Y months, they are removed as a follower. Simple, automatic, send a note to the former "follower" explaining why.
I have suggested this to Medium. As usual, I got nothing more than the automatic reply.
I bet most of us would lose 50-90% of our so-called followers.