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'Grey's Anatomy' will address coronavirus during upcoming season

"There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” executive producer Krista Vernoff said.
/ Source: TODAY

“Grey’s Anatomy” will tackle the coronavirus pandemic when the long-running ABC series returns for its 17th season.

"We’re going to address this pandemic for sure," executive producer Krista Vernoff said while speaking during the Television Academy’s "Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going" panel, reports Entertainment Weekly.

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"There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” she added.

Vernoff, who was joined on the panel by “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey, and Kevin McKidd, who plays Dr. Owen Hunt, said the drama routinely talks to real-life doctors about their experiences.

"Every year, we have doctors come and tell us their stories, and usually they’re telling their funniest or craziest stories. This year, it has felt more like therapy," she explained.

"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. And that’s been one of our big conversations about Owen, is that he’s actually trained for this in a way that most of the other doctors aren’t."

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Vernoff thinks the program can shine a light on what some in the medical community are experiencing.

"I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," Vernoff said.

Production on the new season of “Grey’s Anatomy” has not begun, but Vernoff said the writers are doing their best to make sure they strike a balance when crafting their plotlines.

"Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humor and romance while we tell these really painful stories," she said.

"Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going" will be available Tuesday on Stars from “The West Wing” and “The Sopranos” will also take part.