Grey's Anatomy recently confirmed that Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is battling COVID-19.
While the plot has allowed Meredith to reunite with Patrick Dempsey's Derek in dreams, the series showrunner has opened up about the decision to have the lead battle the virus.
“Last week, we felt Meredith Grey’s pain as a doctor treating an early surge of COVID patients,” Krista Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter.
“This week, we begin to experience what it is for her to be a COVID patient herself.”
The series wanted to tackle that because “over 1,700 healthcare workers in the US have died of COVID to date,” Vernoff explains. “Many thousands more have been infected."
“Healthcare workers are on the frontlines of this crisis,” she adds, “living through a war for which they were not trained.”
Vernoff admitted that she saw an opportunity to show off the plight of frontline workers.
“We saw an opportunity to dramatize and illuminate their plight through the incredibly well-loved and well-known character of Meredith Grey,” she told the outlet.
“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,” she continues. “Meredith has a real fight ahead of her. And… she has that beach. Darkness and light.”
While fans are still in the dark about how this storyline will play out, we do know that another face from Meredith's past will arrive on her beach on Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 4, airing Thursday, December 3 at 9/8c.
This has led to a string of questions about who the next person could be, and Vernoff admits that "it's a powerful season," before telling fans to "stay tuned.
If you watch Grey's Anatomy online, you know Mer has already spent a considerable amount of time with her deceased husband, so it will be fun to see who the next person is.
What do you think of the comments from the showrunner?
Hit the comments.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.