Although there are significant differences between the pandemics above and COVID-19, there are some key takeaways here.
Surveillance is important — we need to know who is affected and who has been affected. Indeed, testing is key to our understanding of COVID-19 and how to slow its progress.
We have also learned that physical distancing and quarantine measures work.
Where a pandemic happens, both geographically and historically, also makes a difference. Would the Black Death have been so devastating had the people of the time had access to modern medical treatments, an understanding of how germs spread, and improved nutrition? Probably not.
It may be of little consolation, but it might help some of us, psychologically, to remember that we are not the only humans to have experienced such trials and tribulations — and we will not be the last.
It is also important to remember that pandemics do end, and that modern science and medicine can be incredible forces for good. We no longer live in the Dark Ages; we are better armed today than we have ever been.