In this European Public Health News, our president—Iveta Nagyova—and I join forces to discuss which games are being played around COVID-19 and which game should be played to build back better and fairer. The EU commissioner for Health, Kyriakides, puts the spotlight on the health care workforce and thanks them for their work and dedication. However, she says, the battle continues as we face another challenging winter. It is clear that Europe is and will be playing an important role in the global battle against the pandemic. Busse and Barnhoorn focus on next year’s European public health conference, that will be focusing on achieving resilient health systems including a strong public health workforce. Jarosińska addresses our right to breathe clean air. The recently launched WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines should be implemented worldwide to prevent premature deaths due to air pollution.