Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD will address COVID-19.
COVID-19 will be included in the new One Chicago season. Dick Wolf confirmed to EW.com this week that Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med will all incorporate coronavirus when they return in November.
Fans have been debating whether or not COVID-19 should be included in the franchise, as the producers have usually tried to make the Chicago series reasonably realistic but some viewers have said they don’t want the coronavirus intruding on their entertainment.
But Wolf is well known for pulling from reality for stories, and there’s no bigger story in the world right now than COVID-19. Plus, with some of One Chicago’s biggest competitors already planning on writing about the pandemic, it makes sense for our universe to follow suit.
Here’s what you can expect from each series as it relates to coronavirus.
How Chicago Fire will handle COVID-19
Wolf explained that the COVID-19 references on Chicago Fire, as well as Chicago PD, will be “more subtle.” That makes sense as they’re not medically focused series.
He stated that viewers will see fewer civilians appearing at Firehouse 51 during Chicago Fire season 9. That would reflect social distancing, as well as the fact that some people are staying inside more frequently to limit their exposure to the coronavirus.
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COVID-19 on Chicago PD
While no details were given about how Chicago PD plans to work COVID-19 into its universe, there will likewise be subtle references to it in season 8, as mentioned above. If Firehouse 51 is going to have less civilians in the background, it’s a safe bet that the 21st District will as well.
Presumably, the officers and detectives of the Intelligence Unit will have to take some precautions given that they come into close physical contact with suspects all the time during their cases. Will social distancing change a character like Hank Voight, played by Jason Beghe, who’s routinely right in the faces of suspects?
How Chicago Med will address COVID-19
It’s not surprising at all that Chicago Med will have a major coronavirus storyline. Wolf spelled out most of what’s coming in Chicago Med season 6, including that “one character will be recovering from the disease.” He did not reveal if that’s a main character or someone who’s a recurring/guest player.
Hospital operations will also change. “There will be a COVID unit in the hospital,” the producer said, adding that “incoming patients will be tested by paramedics.”
Wolf concluded that “[COVID-19] will be part of daily life, and adjustments will be made.”
Whether that’s just on Med or throughout the whole Chicago fandom, the pandemic is going to be a major factor in at least the first part of the upcoming season.
Now the question for fans is, will coronavirus be part of the entire season—or just the first half? It’s one thing to tell a COVID-19 story and a whole other thing to make it the new normal. But as it’s also the new normal for the whole world watching at home, permanent changes wouldn’t be that out of line either. Tune in Nov. 11 to see how it all plays out.
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