Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, it had felt like we were always on the verge of some cataclysmic event. Nuclear war had seemed a very real possibility. Terrorism was an ever present threat. Biological warfare was talked of with ominous frequency. Gradually the tension in the air had seemed to ease. The Iron Curtain fell. Travel was cheap. Many diseases were eradicated.

All of my teenage dreams for a better, happier more peaceful world, now seem so naive. Until September 11th, 2001, (The day that other terrible event, struck New York,) we had seemed on the brink of that idealistic world.

I realise other locations were also stricken that day.

The world has changed so much since then.

There had been a brief window of hope, prior to that heartbreaking day, before once again, we had all lived under constant threat of extermination by some terrible event.

Now this particular peril has arrived. It seems almost incredible. It crept up silently. I had noticed people were being locked down in Wuhan. It had appeared to be just another news story, which would go away given time. Now in my country of birth, over ten thousand people are dead. The world’s streets have emptied.

It feels like somebody somewhere has opened Pandora’s box…

“We wait until Pandora’s Box is opened before we say, Wow, maybe we should understand what’s in that box. This is the story of humans on every problem.”

Peter Singer

3 replies on “Pandora, What Have We Done?”

  1. “Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s it always felt like we were always on the verge of some cataclysmic event. Nuclear war had seemed a very real possibility.”

    Same here. That was an ever present threat and created a worry, which thankfully didn’t happen. THIS is happening and no longer a threat but Pandora’s Box is opened and loved ones are dying without funerals. How we deal with it comes down to people’s behavior and good government, both of which are failing in part at the moment.

    John Meng-Frecker – WordPress at

    1. I adored America when I lived there. I cannot believe what is happening. Genuine leadership requires courage and integrity. These qualities have seemed to have fallen out of favour world-wide. We need to stop going after bright, shiny objects and look for quality in those we choose to lead us. The ability to put country above personal interest. I always come back to Churchill myself but he is not always viewed in a good light here in Australia. He made devastating mistakes in WW1 but went into the trenches himself following his terrible error. It is ok to make mistakes, if you can own them and try to do better but that often seems to be lacking.

    2. The current situation in New York in particular is devastating. I am so sorry. It must be devastating. I never got to say goodbye to my father or attend his funeral. I know how upsetting that was. I held my own funeral of sorts in our backyard half a world away but I still feel it. It must be so terrible for all of you.

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