COVID-19 is a formidable enemy. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world, sickening hundreds of thousands of people and leaving economic carnage in its wake.

Fortunately, some of our best companies are helping us combat COVID-19. In turn, these businesses are set to not just survive, but thrive, during these difficult times and emerge even stronger from the crisis.

If you buy shares of the following stocks now, you'll likely earn strong returns on your investment, while helping to support the companies that give us the best chance at containing the coronavirus pandemic.

A medical case.

These stocks can help us beat the COVID-19 coronavirus. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Johnson & Johnson

Healthcare titan Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.05%) recently joined the fight against COVID-19. J&J is investing more than $1 billion in the development of a novel coronavirus vaccine. It expects to start human clinical studies by September, with the goal of obtaining emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by early 2021. In the meantime, J&J is ramping up its production capabilities for the vaccine in order to be able to make more than 1 billion doses if it proves to be effective. 

2. Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences (GILD -0.47%) is another powerful ally in the war against COVID-19. The biotechnology giant's experiential drug remdesivir is regarded as a promising potential treatment for the disease. Remdesivir exhibited encouraging results in animal models for treating SARS and MERS, which are also caused by coronaviruses that are structurally similar to COVID-19. In turn, health officials believe Gilead's drug could prove useful as a treatment for COVID-19. Remdesivir is currently being evaluated for safety and efficacy in two phase 3 clinical studies, and Gilead has provided more than 1,000 doses of the drug on a "compassionate use" to severely ill patients. 

3. Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics (DGX 0.09%) recently launched new testing services for COVID-19. By helping to meet the urgent need for diagnostic tests, the clinical lab giant is helping doctors identify who has COVID-19, so that they can be more effectively treated and isolated, thereby helping to slow the spread of the potentially deadly disease. Quest can currently process approximately 200,000 tests per week and is rapidly boosting capacity, so as to be able to serve even more patients in the weeks ahead. 

4. Teladoc Health

Teladoc (TDOC -4.64%) provides telehealth services that allow doctors to offer medical consultations via videoconferencing apps on patients' computers, tablets, and smartphones. By helping doctors provide more care to more patients, Teladoc is serving a critical role in the battle against COVID-19, particularly as hospitals and other treatment centers reach their maximum capacity. Teladoc is the global leader in virtual care, and its stock remains the best way to invest in this important emerging trend in healthcare.

5. Zoom Video Communications

In addition to accurate testing and effective treatments, social distancing remains one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. Zoom (ZM -2.25%) is helping to make this possible. As millions of people are forced to remain at home due to the disease, Zoom's video conferencing technology is being used by thousands of schools and businesses to communicate with students and employees. Zoom has had its fair share of privacy and security issues, but its user base has nevertheless exploded to 200 million people per day, up from roughly 10 million at the end of last year. Zoom should continue to add new users at a rapid clip, boosting its revenue and profits -- and returns to shareholders -- along the way.