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We have successfully overcome a pandemic. What do we know and what have we learned regarding similar future challenges? Globalization has increased the risk that epidemics may extend rapidly to all humanity. We are highly vulnerable, but have also seen that we have developed research in all disciplines and advanced collectively as a society and as citizens to levels that allow us to tackle a devastating pandemic. There is a high risk of future pandemics, which will all be different, but we now have more knowledge and tools to confront them with confidence and energy. Now is not the time to forget, but to work actively so we are better prepared.