SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19, is sweeping through the world, disrupting human activities everywhere. The consequences of this on-going event on societies are yet to be fully understood. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 illustrates how human–environment interaction should be framing research on pathogen spillover. Furthermore, the geography of human contacts at various scales in our globalized and urbanized world affects its diffusion. Both elements plead for a robust backbone of geography of health, including land use, to understanding disease emergence and diffusion.