The COVID-19 crisis has suddenly brought epidemiology, the media and political use of multiple scenarios to the fore, so a brief history about the discipline seems timely, as outlined by Anderson. As the authors go to press in mid-2020, new epidemiological models reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic is not about to disappear. It may be with us for a much longer period than first thought, extending well beyond the end of 2020. Many online comments have appeared addressing these issues; for example, Mikkel Gabriel Christoffersen argues that Soren Kierkegaard can help us understand fear and anxiety during pandemic isolation, the difference between exterior changes and interior responses as set out in The Concept of Anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major occurrence and momentous tragedy in world history with millions of infections and many deaths worldwide. It has disrupted society and the global economy, causing massive unemployment, death and hardship.