(KNBC) Nancy Alvarado worries about the deep toll COVID-19 is taking across the globe, and within her Atwater Village community.

“It’s wreaking so much havoc here,” she said. “I’m not a very good cook, so we eat out a lot. Just knowing all these little restaurants that we love so much and how much they’re suffering.”

But most of all, she worries about her parents.

“My parents are in their mid-60s,” she said. “My mom has sensitive lungs. She gets asthma and is so prone to bronchitis.”

More than half a million people around the world have died from COVID-19 since January. A vaccine is essential, but developing vaccines usually takes years. Wanting to be helpful in anyway she could, Alvarez volunteered for a clinical trial that speeds up the process by giving volunteers a vaccine. But these “human challenge trials” also give participants the virus.

Full Story: Volunteers Step Up to Be Patients for COVID-19 Vaccine