Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) became a pandemic early 2020 and a salient public health emergency and psychosocial shock event. From Wuhan in China the virus spread around the globe and significantly influenced the lives of almost all humans on their planet, if only via indirect (economic) consequences and government control. This study synthesizes the events to describes the timescape 2020-23. Within two years >663 million humans were infected and >21.3 million had died due to Covid and secondary excess mortality, and >70% of all humans were subjected to various societal restrictions and lockdowns, such as ~4.5 billion humans over may 2020 alone. The societal lockdowns and major socioeconomic perturbations over 2020-23 coincided with a collective drop in life expectancy and mental health and well-being, especially more anxiety, depression, suicides, and domestic violence against children and women. Coronavirus exploited social contact and transport, urbanization, liberalism, anxiety, and societal lockdowns, and elicited the strongest global economic perturbation in a century (-3% world GDP). Humans showed marked emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and societal responses over 2020-23, and the collective focused on virus mutations, vaccines, breakthrough infections, long-Covid, and more stress, loneliness, polarization, demonstrations, riots, violence, and conspiracy theories, with more authoritarianism and government coups around the globe (e.g., US Insurrection, 2021). When Russia invaded Ukraine (≥22w8) war returned to Europe and globally there were more refugees than observed since the second world war (WW2). The timescape 2020-23 showed major individual, sociocultural, geopolitical, and technological changes, from the rise of TikTok and Artifical Intelligence to #BLM and second wave of #MeToo, which affected the collective psyche and discourse, and coronavirus and overt nuclear threat coincided with an unprecedented series of natural disasters and record heatwaves that confirmed humans had created a #ClimateCrisis of planetary proportions. In 2023 the planetary climate ventured into uncharted territory driven by the human industrial revolution (>1830). Most humans described the pandemic years 2020-22 as the hardest and most stressful years they had experienced in their lifetime, which affected a generation of young humans. Over 2023 the collective return to “normalcy” was hampered by Ukranian and Israelian wars, cost-of-living crisis, and climate disasters that made humanity realize the world had changed. The pandemic timescape 2020-23 was an unique period in time to learn about human psychology and collective preparedness (a natural experiment), as engagement with natural hazards is a master task of civilizations. Psychological theories could be examined across contexts and in diverse samples, who were often exposed to comparable collective stressors of personal significance. Such perturbations can help to study human stress dynamics and complex social systems, beyond what can be learned from more stable periods. The collective changes and interconnected consequential events over 2020-23 including the global rise in military spending made this timescape a mini "Axial-period" that shapes the decades ahead.