As part of a series of SCOOP! on COVID-19, today we address what history can teach us about ways to cope with a pandemic. COVID-19 has been quite active for a few months and leaves its mark all around the globe. Much like the Black Death (a type of plague), the Spanish flu, SARS, the avian flu, or even Ebola, COVID-19 will also make history in its own way. Unfortunately, these diseases are responsible for millions of deaths. They also allow society to make tremendous technological progress, medical advances, and foster human growth. Have we learned from the previous epidemics? Which lessons will we draw from this very exceptional situation which is undergoing at the moment?