The characters of “Grey’s Anatomy” will experience COVID-19 like the rest of the world.
Showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed there will be a coronavirus pandemic storyline in the upcoming 17th season of the Ellen Pompeo-led medical drama. Vernoff touched on the subject in a Television Academy panel, streaming Tuesday night.
“We’re going to address this pandemic for sure. There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” she said, via TV Line. “The doctors come in, and we’re the first people they’re talking to about these types of experiences they’re having.
“They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they’re pale and they’re talking about it as war — a war that they were not trained for,” Vernoff continued. “That’s been one of our big conversations about [Kevin McKidd’s] Owen [who served in the army], that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t.”
Vernoff believes the cast and crew have an obligation to share some of the realities of COVID-19 on the small screen.
“I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories,” Vernoff continued. “Our conversations have been constantly about how we keep alive humour and romance while we tell these really painful stories.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had implications not just on the world-building elements of “Grey’s Anatomy” but also on the show’s season 17 premiere. The novel coronavirus prevented the start of production.