Grey’s Anatomy will address coronavirus; does Chicago Med follow?

Does Chicago Med follow Grey’s Anatomy and include coronavirus?

Grey’s Anatomy season 17 will have a coronavirus storyline—which somewhat puts Chicago Med on the hot seat.

Krista Vernoff, the showrunner of Grey’s Anatomy, told EW that her series will “for sure” address coronavirus when it returns.

“There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not tell the medical story of our lifetimes,” Vernoff explained, saying later on that she felt it was “an opportunity and a responsibility.”

For One Chicago fans, that naturally prompts the question of what Chicago Med will do when the sixth season starts this fall.

Showrunners Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider haven’t said anything publicly about their plans. They also haven’t been asked—Vernoff’s comments came as part of an event she was involved in—so it’s quite possible that the pandemic could be part of the One Chicago universe, too.

Or not.

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We’ve spoken earlier this summer about why the show ought to include current events in next season’s storylines, but now knowing that their biggest rival is definitely tackling the issue, that has to add another factor into the Med team’s decision-making process.

It’s not a good look if your competition is covering the story and you’re not. But conversely, if you do, viewers and critics alike are going to compare between the two.

Plus, as people have pointed out since the EW article was posted, what will the logistics be? There also isn’t much point in approaching the subject unless you’re going to do it realistically. It would be awkward at best, and potentially offensive at worst, to do one pandemic-themed episode and then have everything in the hospital go back to normal.

Chicago Med is known for time jumps, so in One Chicago’s case the writers could move the show ahead a certain amount. They could also look at this as an opportunity to put more of their focus back on medicine after season 5 was overly heavy on relationships. Yet there will be many details they’ll have to iron out in order to get whatever they decide to do right.

Tackling coronavirus will not be easy, but it now feels almost necessary between wanting to keep the show relevant and needing to keep it competitive with Grey’s Anatomy. If Chicago Med doesn’t do anything, it could end up well behind the TV curve.

Next: Are Crockett and Natalie Chicago Med's endgame?

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