The 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is now the 5th respiratory virus pandemic since 1918. No matter the time in history that these pandemics occur and no matter the severity we see public health efforts and scientists stymied in their efforts to truly change the course of these pandemics. The reasons for this are numerous as there are so many unanswered questions regarding respiratory virus infections that lead to many of the failed, confusing, and sometimes harmful actions taken by governments, health officials, and physicians/scientists. In order to address the current and future pandemics we must work hard to better understand the correlates of protection of respiratory viruses. During the early stage of this pandemic we started a trial to look at the prevalence of SARS-CoV2 antibody in a nationwide sampling of individuals who were not diagnosed with COVID19. The goal of this study was to achieve a highly representative sample that could be used to estimate the true prevalence nationwide and in different groups based on multiple demographic and other factors. This study performed April to August, gave us the opportunity to take an early sample and then currently follow up at 6 and 12 months to assess change over time, longevity of response, and begin to probe questions regarding correlates of protection. This study sets the stage for much more work and raises questions that will need to be addressed in future studies. With focused efforts and thoughtful science, we can achieve a much better understanding of respiratory viruses and the correlates of protection. This will require significant collaboration, communication, and of course funding. It is important that we try to get this right so that we are better prepared for the next pandemic and do not find ourselves still in the same situation we have been in during every pandemic since 1918.
1. Define SARS-CoV-2 immunity, antibody testing, and discuss what is known about the meaning of these tests
2. Identify challenges in doing research during social distancing and demonstrate methods to overcome those challenges
3. Explain the findings of the NIH serosurvey in terms of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 immunity by geography and demographic groups