WIRED | As the COVID-19 pandemic moves across the world, growing evidence suggests that it may drag a second slow-motion pandemic behind it. Even though COVID-19 is a viral illness not affected by antibiotics, early data from hospitals shows that most patients—more than 90 percent in some cohorts—are being treated with drugs to cure or protect against secondary infections during respiratory illnesses or hospitalization. As a result, COVID-19 could potentially whomp up antibiotic resistance, which is already a crisis, WIRED contributor Maryn McKenna writes. The vast international mobilization to do something about the new coronavirus—identify existing drugs, work up new treatments, achieve a vaccine—might paradoxically offer hope for antibiotic research. The hope is that policy makers might finally appreciate how vulnerable we all are to new viruses or bacterial infections, and the need to invest in new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in advance. In the context of COVID-19, antibiotics should be considered as important as protective gowns or facemasks. It is part of our defense for any pandemic situation.