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Why 'Grey's Anatomy' almost didn't address the pandemic

October 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

GREY'S ANATOMY - "I Want a New Drug" - While Meredith breaks a hospital record, the rest of the doctors are sent scrambling in the wake of a massive overdose within the community. Meanwhile, Jackson wants to take a reluctant Maggie camping, and Levi and Nico's relationship continues to develop, on "Grey's Anatomy," THURSDAY, FEB. 21 (8:00-9:01 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Mitch Haaseth) KIM RAVER, JAMES PICKENS JR.

Roughly 15 minutes into her first meeting with the "Grey's Anatomy" writers about the new season, showrunner Krista Vernoff said she knew there was no turning their back on Covid-19.

(CNN)Roughly 15 minutes into her first meeting with the "Grey's Anatomy" writers about the new season, showrunner Krista Vernoff said she knew there was no turning their back on Covid-19.

Speaking during Variety's Power of Women virtual event, Vernoff said she had seriously considered opting out of pandemic storylines to preserve the sense of "escapism" many enjoy about the beloved primetime medical drama.

"But it became my job to make sure that we had exciting -- I call it fan candy -- fun things that aren't just about PPE and the pandemic and to let you breathe and to let you laugh and we've come up with some really fun, creative ways to do that," she said on the panel, where she was joined by stars Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and Debbie Allen.

It is also not lost on them that -- as arguably the most influential medical drama on television -- they have a responsibility to honor the shift felt in the profession in light of the pandemic, Vernoff said.

Every time a doctor or a nurse came to our writer's room to talk to us, they were changed as human beings," she said.

"I want to inspire people to take care of each other, to wear their masks, to help this pandemic end," she said.

So it's very different, but we're still getting great work done," she said.

Vernoff said that though she's never regretted their decision to tackle the pandemic, "I was worried. "

"And I'm no longer worried," she said.

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