Why Am I Doing This?

Lately, I’ve been getting some rather hostile comments. I used to let such comments remain published, thinking it was cheating to only keep comments from people who more or less agreed with me or who disagreed with me in an agreeable manner, but I see no reason to accept all comments anymore. After all, it is my blog.

Still, when I get too much negative feedback, I wonder why the heck I’m doing this. I certainly don’t need any more unpleasantness in my life — there is enough coming my way without opening the door for more. But writing this blog has always been about me, my thoughts, my struggles to get through grief, my struggles to create a new life for myself, my times of joy and sorrow. Even more than that, though, writing is a way of getting thoughts out of my head when I can’t get rid of them any other way.

And this current situation has certainly made the thoughts go round and round, so much so that I get dizzy from trying to make sense of it all.

Yesterday, someone left the following comment on my Lockdown Protests post:

Please stop promoting your uninformed and harmful opinions. Yes, speech is free but death is not. Stop pretending to be a medical professional and stick to whatever it is you imagine to be your area of expertise. I, for one, wouldn’t take your advice about anything. Keep quiet and stick to whatever you know, which seems to be nothing at this point. Maybe your fictional work is more up your fictional alley.

The comment would have upset me more except for the erroneous assumptions — I don’t pretend to be a medical professional, I don’t offer advice, and I admitted I didn’t know the truth of what is going on, though I did give a brief synopsis of some of the things people are protesting about.

In fact, I came across a couple of articles today that said the very same thing I did: Instead Of ‘Flattening The Curve,’ We Flattened Hospitals, Doctors, And The U.S. Health Care System. And: If Half the Country’s Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?

I shouldn’t be sitting here explaining myself — what and why I write is no one’s business but my own. Still, these thoughts are in my head, and I need to get them out so I can enjoy the rest of this warm, sunshiny day.

So now they are in your head! Lucky you.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

20 Responses to “Why Am I Doing This?”

  1. Treve Brown Says:

    Hi Pat. I thought yesterday’s blog was extremely thoughtful. It seems very clear to me that NOBODY is entirely sure on where this is headed, and it raises any number of unanswerable questions. It was as intelligent a piece as I have seen written on the subject in my opinion!

  2. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I see your blogs as interesting and helpful. In no way do they present you as a real or imagined medical specialist offering advice. Except for Spam–which WordPress weeds out anyway–I let all comments stand unless they’re libellous or filled with profanity. Had I gotten that comment, I probably would have asked the user to quote any passage from my post that gave the impression I was representing myself as a medical professional or epidemiologist.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s a good suggestion about asking the person to quote a passage. I tried to think of an adequate response, and in the end simply didn’t want to engage with them.

  3. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    I’m sorry that you are being treated that way. Though I didn’t agree with all of your thoughts, I found the post compelling and interesting. Plus.. it is your blog, for G-d sakes. You have a right to air your opinion as you see fit. Bugger on and ignore the jerks.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I like that! Bugger on and ignore the jerks. I don’t mind people disagreeing with me when they are merely continuing the discussion. People who don’t agree with me often bring out sides of an issue I didn’t consider, and it gives me something different to think about.

  4. Jo green Says:

    You keep right on sharing u thoughts with us.

  5. Aggie Tracy Says:

    It was just plain rude to write such a comment.
    This person seems like a very unhappy person Pat.
    You have been a big help to me since the passing of my husband.
    Continue your blog p,ease.

  6. Jack Says:

    That comment was written by someone with a political agenda, and you know what that means in today’s world: hatred. Dismiss the jerks that your great work attracts. It’s their loss, not yours.

  7. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    I have to admit you made a number of statements yesterday that angered me, too, so I can understand why one reader couldn’t help reacting. But rudeness is never called for, especially on a private blog where the author has every right to express her opinions. I tend to adhere more to Bambi’s mother’s admonition that, “if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s interesting. I keep reading that post over and over again and don’t see what people are objecting to, especially since I was trying to explain why people might be protesting. (Making sure to say that I am not one of them.) Not that it makes any difference. I can only write what I know, and the conditions I see in my area might not be the same conditions other people see in theirs.

  8. jarilissima Says:

    I think this might be my first time commenting, and I must say: so sorry that happened. Some people forget that there’s a real person, a human being on the other side of the computer screen. Or maybe they’re just rude.

    I’ve been reading this blog for a bit, and I hope you continue to share your thoughts, regardless of comments. Take care 🙂

  9. Kathy Says:

    You can”t speak an opinion that contradicts these people. After all, they’ve got “facts” or so they think. And a powerful weapon like death to wield. Of, course, their “facts” don’t tell the whole story. And whatever somebody thinks about Trump, why is his comment that it (“Bob”) might or might not come back so much worse that the guy (I forget his name) who stomps up and down absolutely sure it will. And while I want to see action taken to open things up, why do people act like these are permanent measures? And why are people calling this time of uncertainty “the new normal”? I would think we’re in the temporary or in-between. I, for one. am thankful for these blog posts – it’s one place I feel safe sharing my thoughts.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m glad you feel that way — that it’s safe to share your thoughts with me. It makes me feel a lot less disgruntled about all the disagreements with my “Bob” posts.

      There’s too much controversy and lies and sleight of hand and dueling experts for some people to be able to see that there are way more questions than answers about the current situation. As you say, death is such a powerful weapon! What people forget is that the stay at home and other such measures were never intended to eliminate The Bob, but to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. Something how that came down to “killing your grandparents” if people are allowed out. I keep saying I don’t have answers, and I don’t. No one does, even though so many people act as if they do.

      Thank you!

      And a special thank you

  10. Estragon Says:

    When my three adult children were young I made a point of picking a topic of some degree of complexity and nuance to debate over dinner. The idea was to provoke a lively debate, promote understanding of both sides of the issue, and most importantly, to be able to debate properly. Rule number one was no “ad hominem” arguments. Saying “…your uninformed and harmful opinions” isn’t debating the issue. It’s attacking the person expressing a view, rather than the view itself. IMHO, it has no place in a legitimate debate. We don’t need to feed the trolls.

    If anything, the comment reinforces the concern in your post about polarization and the politics of Bob. We should all try to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Such a great way of teaching people how to have a real discussion! I also like your advice to believe six impossible things before breakfast. I’ll try that.

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