Here's an alternative take on visualizing the countdown.
Tried different animations to see what subjectively maps to less anxiety and the take away is that it should look like a timer. It must have clear 1-second "notches". With a continuous animation it's hard to take your attention away from it, because it's really hard to estimate how much time left on a timer.
Compare, for example, this fine-grain countdown with a coarse grained one. Which one does feel more comfortable?
In any case... I ended up shelving this idea (of a closing on a timeout) altogether. It's a solution in a search of the problem. Perhaps next time, when there's a clear need for it.
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