Grey’s Anatomy Alludes To How The Pandemic Could Have Long
When Richard Webber said healthcare workers doing their best “wasn’t enough,” I believe the character was alluding to the lack of support doctors and nurses received from healthcare institutions this year.
Frontline healthcare workers have told me hospitals and governments failed at providing paid sick leave, enough tests, and adequate hospital equipment to safely treat COVID-19 patients, highlighted through dystopian reports of American nurses treating patients while wearing garbage bags.
Doctors and nurses were at a breaking point before COVID-19 struck. Physician burnout reached an all-time high in 2019, according to the American Medical Association. Recent research from the University of California at San Diego found nurses had higher rates of suicide than the general population.
Nurse advocacy groups said they have long struggled receiving hospital support for issues like hospital violence and caring for too many patients at once. Research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found New York City hospitals were understaffed with nurses before the pandemic.
Got a tip? If you’re a healthcare worker with a story to share, email .
Dennis Kosuth, an ER nurse in Chicago, said he blamed inadequate government public health education, not individuals, for the public’s lack of mask wearing and social distancing that exacerbated the pandemic.
Richard Webber Returned To The Hospital Reconciled With Catherine And Took Over As Chief Of Chiefs
Webber had also argued with his wife, Catherine, last season, but they reconciled after Catherine gave Richard the Chief of Chiefs position.
Richard acted as Meredith’s health-care proxy while trying to keep morale up in the hospital as staff continuously readjusted to COVID-19 protocols as they changed over time.
He also officiated his birth daughter Maggie Pierce’s wedding during the finale.
‘grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Meredith Wakes Up From Her Covid
Rejoice, Grey’s Anatomy fans! Meredith Grey has left her in-between beach and returned to consciousness.The 11th episode of the longest-running primetime medical drama’s 17th season aired Thursday night, and while the predominant storyline centered on Amelia Shepherd and Atticus “Link” Lincoln’s relationship, Meredith awakening from her COVID coma was the moment everybody has been waiting for.Meredithwho was taken off her ventilator last week and began breathing on her own after the beloved deceased doctors Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan visited her in the subconscious beach spacewakes up and talks briefly with Richard Webber . “I’m sorry,” she says. “You had to put me on a vent. You had to make that call.”
After Richard absolves her guilt, Meredith shows that she has been more receptive while unconscious than her friends at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital had thought. She knows that Jo Wilson has made the decision to switch her specialty from general surgery to obstetrics and gynecology.
Meredith’s state is still not totally certain, as Richard points out that she’s “still mostly sleeping,” but he is cautiously optimistic: “She’s listening, even when you think maybe she’s not. She’s.”
“Extraordinary,” Miranda Bailey interjects.
“Unstoppable,” Maggie Pierce adds.
“Always has been, always will be,” Bailey says.
And then, if this isn’t foreshadowing from Richard: “I pray to God you’re both right.”
Watch the promo clip for next week’s episode below.
Read Also: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
The Decision To Give Meredith Covid
Given that a number of shows have shied away from including COVID-19 in their scripts, it is both surprising and bold that Greys Anatomy, ABCs highest-rated drama, decided to include the global pandemic in their characters storylines.
In a recent interview, showrunner Krista Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter, Last week we felt Meredith Greys pain as a doctor treating an early surge of COVID patients. This week we begin to experience what it is for her to be a COVID patient herself 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. And she has that beach. Darkness and light. Its a powerful season. Stay tuned.
While Vernoff did not hint at whether or not Meredith contracting the virus will be the end of her character, and the show, as we know it, only time will tell the iconic characters fate.
Tune into Greys Anatomy Thursday night at 8pm ET/PT.
Meredith Grey Cant Retire At The End Of Season 17
Jasmin thinks Mer retiring could happen but has a feeling the writers have something else up their sleeve.
Its possible, but for me, the more likely scenario is that they fake us out, but then she recovers and goes on with her life as an award-winning surgeon and mother fighting the good fight, she muses. Id like to see the show end on a positive note and I think that would be a good way to do it. Merediths strength has always been her ability to persevere and I think the end of the show should honor that.
Giuseppe also doesnt think Mers retirement is likely as he states: I dont think this is how they are planning to end her journey.
It wouldnt be fair to her character and to the message she has spread all over the world during these years: that life goes on no matter what, that the carousel never stops turning, that there is always a light of hope. Always.
Dejonna feels like Mer isnt about to retire her way out of the hospital right now either as she adds: Ellen is always full of surprises but I think if Ellen goes the show may not survive without her.
Don’t Miss: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
Ellen Pompeo Previously Hinted That Season 17 Could Be The Show’s Last
This year marks the end of the actress current contract with ABC, and she has yet to reveal whether that multimillion-dollar deal will be extended.
“We dont know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it,” Ellen shared with Variety. Greys producers have noted in the past that the series will likely conclude when their leading lady is ready to turn in her scrubs.
“I dont take the decision lightly,” the mother of three stated when talking about her eventual exit. “We employ a lot of people, and we have a huge platform. And Im very grateful for it.”
Showrunner Krista Vernoff added that theres no cause for alarm. “Weve blown past so many potential endings to Greys Anatomy that I always assume it can go on forever,” she told Variety.
One thing that might change going forward if the drama does get picked up for another season is the amount of time spent on set. “Nobody should be working 16 hours a day, 10 months a year nobody,” Ellen declared. “I hope post-COVID nobody ever goes back to 24 or 22 episodes a season.”
New episodes of Greys Anatomy air Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Season 17 Episode 1 Review: Its Springtime In Seattle And Covid Has Hit Like A Hurricane
The massively cheesy Greys Anatomy
The story of the pandemic has in many ways been the story of us all on our couches bingeing our way to oblivion. So its strange that TV has been reluctant to explore to the new paradigm through which we are living.
Obviously there are the white-knuckle nightly news bulletins and our audiences with George Lee, solemn translator of the sacred Nphet scriptures. But in terms of small screen drama, Covid has been conspicuous almost entirely through its absence.
That gap in the market has now been filled in engaging and entertaining fashion by none other that massively cheesy medical drama Greys Anatomy .
The Seattle-set medical soap is in its 17th year. Long gone are the glory days of Patrick Dempseys Dr McDreamy .
Still, even if you havent tuned into the Shonda Rhimes blockbuster in more than a decade, getting up to speed is a cinch. It returns with the standard line-up of earnest, hardworking medics. Theyre fantastic at what they do while obviously having hugely messy personal lives.
And there in the middle, as she has been since the beginning, is Ellen Pompeos Dr Meredith Grey.
And members of the public are accusing one another of spreading the disease by failing to socially distance, leading to an old school punch-up straight out of the A-Team.
You May Like: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
Miranda Bailey Grieved The Loss Of Her Mother And Nursed Meredith Back To Health
When her mother became sick with COVID-19, Miranda revealed that her mother had been struggling with Alzheimer’s as well.
Her mother died from COVID-19 complications, and she was soon mourning Andrew’s death too.
Amelia Shepherd Cared For Her Newborn While Adjusting To Living With Link And Struggling To Remain Sober
Coping with the challenges of motherhood, the emotional weight of Meredith falling ill, and having to stay home to raise children during a medical crisis tested Amelia’s sobriety, but she remained clean and sober throughout the season.
Amelia also helped Teddy cope with her PTSD and discussed marriage with Link, though she ultimately rejected his proposal during the finale.
Don’t Miss: How Long Covid Live On Fabric
‘grey’s Anatomy’ Book Details Hr Issues Behind Patrick Dempsey’s Exit
The season illustrated how the pandemic affected doctors both at work and at home, including Merediths finale admission that COVID survivors guilt never truly goes away. As Vernoff created the beach scenes to help offset the serious nature of the COVID storylines, several fan-favorites Patrick Dempsey , T.R. Knight , Eric Dane , Chyler Leigh returned to help Meredith fight for her life.
A perennial survivor, Meredith beat COVID and used her newfound sense of purpose to teach interns to fight for whats right even if its a procedure that hospital administrators dont immediately agree with. If this year has taught us anything, its that we could die sooner than any of us want, Meredith tells Bailey of the lessons she learned from her serious battle with COVID.
The finale spanned from August 2020 to April 2021 as docs at Grey Sloan Memorial received their COVID vaccines and hope began to seep through the walls of the hospital. With Meredith getting stronger each day, she has taken over running the intern program and is imparting her wisdom on the next generation.
After blowing off rounds of applause from her peers, Meredith finally gets her recognition after a months-long fight for a procedure that ultimately saves the life of a COVID patient. The moment arrived after Meredith and Teddy left Maggies rescheduled beach wedding for surgery, with the reception ending up at the hospital in a moment of celebration.
for a gallery of Greys Anatomys biggest departures.
Zola Had A Larger Role In This Season As The Only One Of Meredith’s Children Old Enough To Understand How Sick Their Mother Was
Though Zola wanted to be informed about what was happening with her mom, she asked that her younger siblings, Bailey and Ellis, not be told about things that they may not understand, such as Meredith being put on a respirator.
Zola was able to visit her mother in the hospital right before Meredith woke up.
You May Like: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
These Two Storylines Kinda Contradict Each Other One Is About The Inevitable Dying Of The Light The Other Is About Rage Raging Against It
As season 17 goes on, Merediths presence on the beach starts to feel a little more ludicrous. As Covid-19 ceases to be a novel crisis for the characters and slowly becomes part of their day-to-day lives, Meredith is still off to the side somewhere, quietly almost dying. Considering the literal only plot card the beach storyline has to play is, Will Meredith die or wake up? its a wonder Greys managed to squeeze so much drama from it. But eventually, even I a known fan of dumb mystical bullshit on my favorite TV shows was begging her to just wake up already.
What helped Greys make Merediths literal limbo more believable is that season 17 takes place in a compressed time frame. The season opens in March 2020, when Covid-19 first found a significant foothold in the US in Seattle , and by episode 12 has made it only as far as the historic Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyds death, which began in late May and early June 2020.
The seasons penultimate episode speeds through six weeks of time, and judging from some Christmas decorations in the promotional trailer for the finale, it might involve a time jump to the 2020 holiday season. Still, earlier seasons of Greys have mostly unfolded concurrently with the calendar of our reality. This one reacted to an unprecedented and eventful year by slowing down and stretching out time.
Grey’s Anatomy Gets Real About Covid
Grey’s Anatomy is almost always devastating, but tonight’s episode was on another level.
As Koracick and Meredith continued to deal with their own bouts of COVID-19, Bailey discovered that her mother’s care facility had a huge outbreak and her mother was extremely sick. So sick, in fact, that she wasn’t going to make it a day in the hospital.
Bailey had been quiet about the fact that her mother had Alzheimer’s to keep from bringing up bad memories for Meredith or Richard , but the fact that her mother was dying without even knowing what was happening was really hard on her. She tried talking to a sleeping Meredith and she really let loose with Maggie about their Black mothers and watching them die.
Richard and Jackson also pointed out to each other that they were seeing a huge proportion of Black and brown patients dying of coronavirus, and as Bailey said goodbye to her mother, she started reading out names in voiceover. The episode then ended with a long, long list of names on screen.
Zoanne Clack, who wrote this episode of Grey’s Anatomy and serves as one of the medical advisors on the writing staff, explained that the names were inspired by her own experience, fearing her mother was dying of coronavirus.
Clack explained where each of the names that Bailey listed came from.
We aren’t ready, but are we ever?
Read Also: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
Greys Anatomy Has Done A Great Job Covering The Pandemic
Greys Anatomy superfans praised the show for tackling the pandemic with such depth and care
One thing all the superfans also agree on is the fact Greys has done an amazing job covering the biggest medical story of our time.
DeJonna is full of praise as she states: I think they did an incredible job covering the pandemic. It really showed a glimpse of what our health care providers on the front line are going through.
Giuseppe applauds the team as he adds: I think they are doing a great job, they are really showing the difficulties that hospitals had and still have to endure during this pandemic.
They are doing a great job at balancing the humor for which Greys is known for and the drama. Of course, this is a strange season and I hope that the next episodes are lighter.
Jasmin agrees as she says: I think they are doing a great job overall. The first four episodes of the season I think really struck a good balance between showing the reality of the pandemic and what health care workers are going through right now and the humor and twistiness that Greys is known for.
The last two episodes were a bit heavier, but I understand that they are trying to show the reality of the situation and highlight some important issues.
A also feels the same way, stating: They covered the pandemic as much as they could do far. Compared to other medical shows I think they did better.
Teddy Altman Dealt With The Consequences Of Cheating On Owen And Struggled With Ptsd During The Pandemic
Teddy finally found out that Owen canceled their wedding because he overheard her and Koracick having sex on the voicemail message she accidentally left him.
DeLuca’s death triggered Teddy’s PTSD and caused her to reflect on the tragic death of her former lover, Allison.
After recovering enough to return to work, Teddy was able to continue with Meredith’s COVID-19 treatment and helped save her life.
You May Like: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
Maggie Pierce Dealt With A Lot Of Frustrations But Ultimately Got Married
Winston Ndugu reconnected with Maggie at a conference last season, and the two began dating immediately.
During the first half of this season, their romance continued long-distance via video calls until Winston was able to safely get to Seattle.
The two got engaged shortly after and began to meet each other’s family and plan their wedding. On the finale, they got married in a beach ceremony officiated by Richard Webber.
Throughout the season, Maggie also made medical breakthroughs and voiced her frustrations over the disproportionate rate at which Black people were fatally impacted by COVID-19.