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By the end of December 2019, the world had learnt about a new lung disease originating in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan. Less than three months later, the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. At first, it was primarily healthcare systems that came under pressure worldwide, but soon the economy, mobility, schools and even our culture followed. The medical journal The Lancet recently pointed out that Covid-19 is not just a pandemic, but rather a syndemic and that the interplay of various social, economic and environmental factors, such as inequality, poor working conditions and air pollution, have a major influence on the health effects and potential impact of the virus. Covid-19 is not just a purely medical problem, but also a social and educational one. And even if we succeed in keeping the virus at bay in the long term, we now need to address the equally vital tasks of making the world of tomorrow more sustainable, equitable and resilient. We have collected expert contributions in this current Topic in order to better understand, overcome and improve our present circumstances, after all, how we cope in a crisis reveals our true character and how we progress depends on how we share scientific knowledge.

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