Why Grey's Anatomy Gave Meredith COVID-19

Grey's Anatomy has never been afraid to get real. While the scenarios on the show often seem to be too dramatic for real life, its latest season is covering a topic viewers are all too familiar with by now: the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are our favorite TV doctors battling the virus at work, but Meredith Grey herself has tested positive. The most recent episode of the medical drama showed Meredith hospitalized with COVID-19, going in and out of consciousness.

Showrunner Krista Vernoff explained to The Hollywood Reporter why the decision was made to explore the virus through the eyes of the show's central character. "Last week we felt Meredith Grey's pain as a doctor treating an early surge of COVID patients," she said. "This week we begin to experience what it is for her to be a COVID patient herself."

Meredith is in for 'a real fight' on Grey's Anatomy

She continued, "Over 1,700 health care workers in the U.S. have died of COVID to date. Many thousands more have been infected. Health care workers are on the front lines of this crisis, living through a war for which they were not trained. We saw an opportunity to dramatize and illuminate their plight through the incredibly well loved and well-known character of Meredith Grey. Doctors and nurses are fighting for us and falling for us. The least we can do is wear a mask, socially distance and stay home whenever possible. Meredith has a real fight ahead of her. "

Vernoff previously revealed that the pandemic almost wasn't addressed on the show as she was concerned portraying it would hit too close to home. She explained at Variety's Virtual Power of Women panel that the show's writers convinced her exploring COVID-19 was the right move. "The writers are so brilliant and they had some pitches that were so exciting to me that it made me feel like, 'Oh, we could do our show and the romance and the humor and the escapism and the pandemic,'" she said (via USA Today).