As of Wednesday morning, the 1 Day Sooner project had over 26,000 volunteers from over 100 countries who are willing to be exposed to the novel coronavirus as part of a push to speed up vaccine research in what’s known as a “challenge trial.”

“It’s truly a remarkable outpouring,” said communications lead Abie Rohrig.

“It makes me, to be honest, optimistic about human nature and our ability to come together during times of crisis.”

1 Day Sooner, a grassroots group of scientists and researchers, describes a challenge trial as a study that deliberately exposes “participants to infection, in order to study diseases and test vaccines or treatments.”

Typically, testing involves giving human volunteers a vaccine or a placebo and then waiting for them to potentially be exposed to the virus on their own through their everyday life.

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The organization notes that “[m]any people will try to be careful in this outbreak — by practicing self-isolation, for example — so it may take a very long time and a large number of subjects” to produce statistically significant results.