International Journal of Preventive Medicine

: 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 82-

Fighting an invisible enemy: Beginning a new chapter in the COVID-19 era

F Assadi 
 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
F Assadi
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology, Rush University Medical Center, 445 E. North Water Stret, Sute 1804, Chicago, Illinois

How to cite this article:
Assadi F. Fighting an invisible enemy: Beginning a new chapter in the COVID-19 era.Int J Prev Med 2021;12:82-82

How to cite this URL:
Assadi F. Fighting an invisible enemy: Beginning a new chapter in the COVID-19 era. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jul 5 ];12:82-82
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Editorial Comment,

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color and particularly Black and Hispanic individuals.[1],[2] Combined with economic downside sparked by social distancing, the pandemic has highlighted longstanding inequities that have put the health of racial and ethnic minority groups at risk.[1],[2] History has shown that crises have a way of damaging our most vulnerable communities and COVID-19 is no different.

COVID-19 is not just a virus. The clinical disease caused by the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-C0V-2), is the result of a complex and ongoing battle within the body between the invading virus and the body's defense system.[3],[4] Timing really matters when it comes to COVID-19 infection.

The virus enters the nose or mouth to infect the lung cells, where it can replicate first. After the virus invades, the innate immune system responds first, detecting a foreign invader and creating antibodies. For a tactical victory, all the virus has to do is delay immune response by a couple of days, and from 100 infected lung cells on day 1, tens of millions are conquered 4 or 5 days later. But if a virus subverts these early defenses, the body next needs to deploy its special operation forces that have been trained through past experiences, if they had any, to fight the specific invader that the body is facing T cells.[3],[4]

But every step of this battle can ravage the body in its way. COVID-19 disease becomes severe when viruses evade the innate immune system and replicate in the lungs. T cell can help fight the disease. But if that battle rages too large, the fortress of the body can suffer as much as from havoc wreaked by its own troops as from the infection itself.

Currently, the multidisciplinary strategy approach to prevent COVID-19 disease includes[1],[2]:

Pressing the need for health-care workers on the front linesWell-being of staff takes top priorityOffering COVID-19 tests to communitySchool-aged children behavioral health screeningsDiscovery of efficacious and safe vaccines.

 Basic Science on the Clinical Front Lines: The Future Fight

There are a number of really big questions still open to investigations, including how immune people remain after infection. Immunologists are increasingly examining how T cells learn to fight the virus effectively but not overzealously. One big area the investigators are focused is trying to understand the formation and quality of T cells' memory. They are also looking at the immune system in COVID-19 patients with long-term symptoms, the relationship of the immune system to vascular problems, and how previous infections might impact our immune response to virus.[5],[6] Further, collaborative and multidisciplinary clinical trials are pursuing how immunity develops in those with milder infections, how long-term protective immunity differs over time, and the implications of those answers for the development of future vaccines.[7],[8]

My heart is broken, but I sustained by hope to save more lives. We are getting through it!


1Zohner YE. Morris JS. COVID-TRACK: World and USA SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 tracking. BioData Min 2021;14:4.
2Khatri UG, Pizzicato LN, Viner K, Bobyock E. Sun M, Meisel ZF, et al. Racial/ethic disparities in uninternational fatal and non-fatal emergency medical services-attended opiod overdoses durining the COVID-19 pandemic in Philadelphia. JAMA Netw Open 2021;4:e2034878.
3Gundlapalli AV, Salerno RM, Brooks JT, Averhoff F, Peterson LR, McDonald LC, et al. SARS-CoV-2 serologic assay needs for the next phase of the US COVID-19 pandemic response. Open Forum Infect Dis 2020;8:ofaa555.
4Oliveira EMN, Carvalho ARB, Silva JSE, Sousa Neto AR, Moura MEB, Freitas DRJ, et al. Analysis of scientific production on the new coronavirus (COVID-19): A bibliometric analysis. Sao Paulo Med J 2021;S1516-31802021005002103. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2020.0449.R1.01102020. Online ahead of print.
5Razizadeh M, Nikfar M, Liu Y. Small molecule to destabilize the ACE2-RBD complex: A molecular dynamic study for potential COVID-19 therapeutics. ChemRxiv 2020. doi: 10.26434/chemrxiv.13377119.Preprint.
6Pourseif MM, Parvizpour S, Jafari B, Dehghani J, Naghill B, Omid YB. A domain-based vaccine construct against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic: Development of self-ampliflying mRNA and peptide vaccines. Bioimpacts 2021;1165-84.
7Kim JH, Marks F, Clemens JD. Looking beyond COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 trials. Nat Med 2021.
8Ellis P, Somogyvarti F, Virok DP, Noseda M, McLean GR. Decoding Covid-19 with SARS-CoV-2 genome. Curr Genet Med Rep 2021;1-12. doi: 10.1007/s40142-020-00197-5. Online ahead of print.