As social distancing, face masks, and quarantine seep into the fabric of our everyday life, it is only fitting that COVID-19 will impact the television world as well. Along with the logistical issues Coronavirus has created for filming and working in television, TV writers and producers are now faced with the choice of whether or not to include Coronavirus into the plot of their upcoming seasons. As COVID becomes our “new normal,” the question becomes whether or not we need a break from reality on our TVs, or if the outside world should affect this aspect of our lives as well.

From the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in early March of 2019, the pandemic has served as a puppeteer in our society. Over time, little things like getting groceries and going to a restaurant have slowly shifted into paradoxes of health concerns and logistical complexities. However, the one area that has remained untouched by Coronavirus until now is the world of television. Despite the excitement that comes along with incorporating such a crucial aspect of history into what we see on television every day, if Coronavirus becomes a plot point in television, we are once again losing our “normal.”

Throughout quarantine, television served as a reminder of our normal world before the virus loomed over us. Watching characters spend time with each other without masks, or go out in public without social distancing serves as a precious reminder of a world without the pandemic. Are we jeopardizing what we view as a normal world if COVID-19 stars in TV shows as well?


Many shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, have already publicly announced the incorporation of COVID into their upcoming season. “There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes,” stated Krista Vernoff, the executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy. It seems fitting that the beloved drama will tackle the pandemic in its seventeenth season, portraying both the medical and emotional complexity of the virus for the doctors of Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.

The theme of COVID-19 in television is becoming a more realistic option for many other TV shows as well. NCIS: New Orleans, Shameless, YOU, The Good Doctor, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, This Is US, Grown-ish, and even South Park are just some of the other shows also planning on incorporating the virus into the season’s plot. It will be interesting to see how each of these shows will incorporate Coronavirus into their seasons in their own unique way.


Although the appearance of COVID-19 in television will project us further into a pandemic-centered world, it could serve as a positive reminder that we are all in this together. As Coronavirus creates more and more uncertainty in the world around us, the introduction of the pandemic in TV shows will potentially help us to feel less alone in real life. The incorporation of COVID into television shows will hopefully bring some happiness to the subject, and prove that the world can continue on through these hard times. 

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