From a few cases of unusual respiratory infections in Wuhan in December 2019 to a full-blown worldwide pandemic in March 2020, COVID19 reminds us that infectious diseases, and particularly viruses, are a problem that demands our full attention. Indeed, deaths from all infectious diseases cause as many deaths as cancer and of course up to 30% of cancers are derived from infectious causes. Globally the response has been mixed with different approaches to viral control in various countries. I will review these looking at outcomes and present the latest information on the virus epidemiology. Finally, I will outline the opportunities the pandemic offers us in terms of health care, manufacturing, new RNA-based medicines and research.