The wait for a "normal world" might be longer, or worse it might never happen.
It has been more than a month since Bangladesh reported its first three cases of the novel coronavirus.
Since April 13, 621 people in Bangladesh have been infected with Covid-19 and claimed the lives of 34 people, according to the Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
It has been a month since the World Health Organization (WHO) categorised the novel coronavirus as a "pandemic", which has claimed over a hundred thousand lives across the globe in the last four months since it broke out in Wuhan, China.
The 10-day general holidays, which started on March 26, has been extended thrice – first, till April 4; secondly, till April 11; lastly, till April 25. The stance has been taken to ensure social distancing and stopping the virus from spreading.
The Bangladesh government has acted promptly and taken major steps to contain the spread of the virus. It includes shutting down offices, commercial entities, educational institutions, restaurants and shops, as well as restricting vehicles and public movement.
We might think that maintaining social distancing will help us get rid of the virus. We might also think that everything will be back to normal after April 25, when the shutdown is finally lifted, unless it is extended again, and we are free to move around.
But, we are wrong.
Environmentalists have warned that even if coronavirus spares our lives, the world will not be free of pandemics. The bad news is that Covid-19 can be the first of the many other pandemics to wreak havoc on humanity if we continue to ignore the links between infectious diseases and human activities that cause destruction to the natural world.
In an interview with The Independent, Dr Enric Sala, marine ecologist and part of National Geographic's Campaign For Nature, said, "I'm absolutely sure that there are going to be more diseases like this in future if we continue with our practices of destroying the natural world, deforestation and capturing wild animals as pets or for food and medicine."
Initially, the virus is thought to have passed down from animals to humans at a "wet market" selling wildlife produce, seafood and live animals in Wuhan of Hubei province in China. Researchers thought pangolins, mammals known as 'scaly ant-eaters', are the probable animal source of Covid-19. Ever since the outbreak in the wet market, China banned the consumption and farming of wild animals and wildlife markets.
However, environmentalists warn of a broader issue. Humanity's voracious destruction of diverse ecosystems has brought us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before.
David Quammen, author of Spillove, Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, told The Independent, "Our highly diverse ecosystems are filled with many species of wild animals, plants, fungi and bacteria. All of that biological diversity contains unique viruses. When we tear down tropical forests to build villages, timber and mining camps, kill or capture wild animals for food, we expose ourselves to those viruses".
All vector-borne diseases - those from living organisms that can transmit infectious pathogens between humans, or from animals to humans – account for more than 17 percent of all infectious diseases and cause more than 700,000 deaths each year, according to WHO.
Dr Sala advocated for providing alternatives to surviving to the communities that depend on the exploitation of nature for day-to-day living.
"Governments have a key role in setting policies that protect the natural world and regulate or ban wildlife trade. Companies can help. The world already produces enough food for 10 billion people, only we waste a third of it," Dr Sala argued.
Curbing climate change plays a key role as the rising temperature creates a more amenable condition for diseases to spread.
With biodiversity loss and a growing global population, the world is doomed to face a population rise of two billion - from 7.7 billion to 9.7 billion - by 2050. As the rising population will seek out food sources, the question for the next pandemic is not if another pandemic will hit, the question is when.
"If we get the novel coronavirus under control, then we can be glad that human ingenuity will manage to control this one. But after we celebrate for five minutes, we should start thinking about the next one," David Quammen said.
There are four critical facets of pandemic prevention, according to Lee Hannah, senior scientist at Conservation International. Three of the facets make immediate sense against the backdrop of the current global emergency - stockpile masks and respirators; have testing infrastructure ready; and ban the global wildlife trade.
The fourth recommendation is to take care of nature.
"We need to tell people right now that there is a series of things we need to do once we're out of this mess to make sure it never happens again," Hannah says.
Recent research has given more support to the idea that biodiversity protection in one part of the world can prevent novel diseases from emerging and leaping into another.
In diverse ecosystems that are well separated from human habitations, viruses ebb and flow without ever having a chance to make it to the big time.
Almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans (called zoonotic pathogens) after 1940 can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture, or wildlife hunting.
Despite years of creative and resource-intensive work by governments and nonprofits, companies' actions to mitigate habitat loss are not adding up.
Many large companies have pledged to halt deforestation, the largest driver of biodiversity loss, through initiatives like the Consumer Goods Forum, the Banking Environment Initiative and Soft Commodities Compact.
Hannah is working to make sure that the reasons to promote biodiversity, including its pathogen-dulling potential, align with the other endangered elephant in the room - climate change.
In February, Hannah announced findings on what the effects of achieving climate and conservation targets might be. Using data on 290,000 species, they were able to squint into the future and see where ecosystems might be saved from mass extinction if nations preserve 30 percent of natural habitat and meet the United Nation's limits for global warming.
All the researchers agreed that meeting the goals would cut biodiversity losses in half.
The Convention on Biological Diversity is a 196-nation effort to protect the richness of living things, tap natural resources sustainably, and share the benefits of the naturally occurring genetic innovations.
The next phase of the biodiversity treaty, currently in draft, proposes that at least 30 percent of land and ocean be conserved, up from the current 17 percent.
If governments agree to that goal, then nations and conservation scientists must take on the complicated step of figuring out which 30 percent is the most vulnerable that needs protection, and ways to protect them.
Looking at the existing protected lands, a paper in Nature last month found that 90 percent of conservation space fails to give bird, amphibian and mammal species the full range of environmental conditions across their existing habitats.
"We could be doing a much better job of getting things in the right places," says Hannah. "There's going to be right places for disease control and they may largely overlap the right places for biodiversity."
The bottom line is, it is high time for us to come together and help the planet heal, stand united for climate change, and conserve biodiversity.