Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a global pandemic which first emerged in the United States in early 2020.


In April 2020, COVID-19 was in full swing in Seattle. The firefighters of Station 19 were walking the three blocks to the hospital every 12 hours to clap the hospital employees in and out of their shift, typically led by Ben Warren. Several of the firefighters were delivering food and supplies to loved ones who were staying home. The firefighters were called out first for a minor burn and then for a fire started by some kids who had broken quarantine to go to a party. After rescuing all the kids from the fire, they transported them to the hospital.

Because of the pandemic, the firefighters were forced to do a very small service for Pruitt, which was live-streamed on the internet. ("Nothing Seems the Same")

Meanwhile, at the hospital, the doctors were struggling to treat all the COVID patients that were coming in. Due to the high volume of patients, doctors of all specialties were being called to treat patients outside their area of expertise. As hospital staff entered the hospital each day, they had to have their temperatures taken and had to answer a series of health-related questions before they could start work for the day. All persons entering the hospital were required to have a facial covering, with doctors and nurses combining an N95 mask with a face shield to increase protection. New masks were handed out on a rotating schedule as they were in short supply. Doctors operating on patients or working directly with COVID patients wore an entire protective suit, which fully covered their face. Only young children were allowed to have accompaniment into the hospital, with all other visitors relegated to a tent outside. They had also employed use of a robot which sanitized rooms after use, using UV light. In addition, as a COVID center, Grey Sloan Memorial closed to incoming traumas. Despite this, they took the kids from the fire at Vic's insistence, as at least one, Kayden Lee, would have died on the way if they took him to another hospital. To combat the depredation caused by cleaning masks with wipes and bleach, Richard showed Bailey that they could use the UV robot to clean them without the breakdown.

When two patients' family members, Aaron Morris and Steve Lee, got in a fight in the visitors' tent, they were taken inside the hospital for treatment, along with Miranda Bailey, whom they injured while fighting. ("All Tomorrow's Parties")

Both Kayden Lee and Frankie Morris ended up at the hospital for treatment along with their fathers. Frankie had to have a portion of his transplanted kidney removed, but was expected to make a full recovery, while Kayden unfortunately died of his burns. When the doctors came to tell Kayden's parents, his father broke down in realization before they were able to go outside to tell his mother. Witnessing this breakdown, Aaron Morris came over and comforted him as he cried. Meanwhile, Bailey's ankle was not broken and she was told to keep weight off it for a few days. And order of PPE came in, which was meant to include gloves, gowns, and masks, but when they opened it up, they found it only contained surgical booties. As a result of his error, Catherine fired Tom Koracick as Chief of Chiefs and hired Richard Webber for the job in his place.

At the end of the day, Meredith was tagged out of the COVID ward and went to go back to her hotel and get some sleep. Before she could leave, she ended up passing out in the parking lot, where Cormac found her and jumped to her aid. ("The Center Won't Hold")

With numbers rising, the firefighters had to put up a sign on the door advising people not to enter the station, but instead to call if they needed assistance. As part of his recovery, Sullivan attended AA meetings over Zoom and also did his follow-up visits with Amelia virtually. Maya and Carina, taking the lead from Ben and Bailey, quarantined separately, putting strain on both of them as they struggled with being apart.

Ben and Travis were called out to Yvonne Boyd, who had penetrating injuries to her chest. She refused to say what had happened, but Travis quickly realized she'd been keeping a wild animal in her house, which she confirmed to be a Bengal tiger. They warned people around the city about the tiger and the rest of the team patrolled to search for her as Ben and Travis took Yvonne to the hospital. On the way, Ben realized Yvonne's heart was no longer circulating any blood and she was pronounced dead on arrival. While he was at the hospital, Ben ran into Carina, who was upset over losing a patient, the third mother she'd lost since the start of the pandemic, the only three mothers she'd ever lost in her career. She was upset that her patient and her baby died alone and once she was done working, Carina herself would be alone. Ben questioned why she wouldn't be with Maya and told her that just because he and Bailey were quarantining separating didn't mean they should, as they have no children and no prior health conditions.

When the firefighters returned to the station, they soon after discovered Lorelei in the barn. Vic, not hearing the warning not to, went out to the barn and had a near-miss before being pulled to safety. They then called Animal Control, who came to take Lorelei to the zoo. After they arrived, Maya reported on what had happened and was surprised by Carina. Maya asked Carina to move in with her, saying quarantining together was basically moving in together and she didn't want to basically do anything with Carina. She wanted to show Carina she was all in. Carina revealed that she was there to ask the same thing and had brought two rapid COVID tests.

Wanting to commit to his recovery, Sullivan and Andy had started a 90-day separation at the advice of Amelia. She also told Sullivan to find himself a sponsor. He ended up working with Richard Webber, who told Sullivan of his own struggles with alcohol. Travis also asked Vic, who had been staying with him while searching for her own place, to move in with him officially. ("Wild World")

In response to rising numbers and as part of his new role as Chief of Chiefs, Richard welcomed the new interns, who were starting their work early in response to the pandemic, and declared that residents would no longer be allowed to work on patients with COVID or suspected to have COVID. He also informed them all hospital staff would be tested for the virus.

After passing out in the parking lot, Meredith was in a hospital room being treated with oxygen. She asked to be discharged with oxygen so she could ride it out in a hotel room and free up the bed for another patient, but after collapsing in her room while trying to walk, she had a CT, which showed ground glass opacities. She asked to start an experimental protocol, believing she could handle the side effects. She also chose Richard to be her power of attorney, as her previous choice was Alex. She spoke to Richard about her wishes, specifically that she didn't want to be put on a ventilator unless it is the last resort , and he promised to do everything he could for her.

The doctors working in the COVID unit continued to struggle with the constant death. Once staff testing was set up, all employees had to form a line to get tested. This testing showed that Tom Koracick had the virus, so he was sent home for two weeks to quarantine. Unable to give the new interns the same speech as in past years, Richard gave them a new speech, promising to teach them as much as possible and promising they'd get through it all together. ("My Happy Ending")

Numbers continued to rise in Seattle. During one morning meeting, Owen reported that the previous day had seen 345 new cases and 29 new deaths in Seattle, with a positivity rate of 4.7%. In the COVID ICU at Grey Sloan, they were at 68% capacity, with 53 of their 72 ventilators in use. Meredith was still being treated at the hospital, while Tom quarantined at home, still showing no symptoms. Andrew and Teddy went to Richard with a trial using monoclonal antibodies they wanted him to consider for Meredith. After considering it, he decided to allow Meredith to join the trial. Meanwhile, Tom's conditioned worsened, though he didn't share this with anyone. ("You'll Never Walk Alone")

When Marsha collapsed in her home, Jack and Ben took the Aid Car to pick her up and transport her to the hospital. Since her symptoms were all consistent with COVID-19, she was taken to the COVID unit, where a test confirmed her status. Jack, Inara, and Marcus were all tested and came back negative. At the hospital, Marsha was awake and able to talk to the others over FaceTime. ("Don't Look Back in Anger")

Tom, now with neurological symptoms, was brought to the hospital, where he had a seizure. After his seizure, he was confused and said a lot of things that didn't make sense. A CT showed a lesion on his brain, but a neuro exam showed no deficits, so Amelia suggested monitoring him. They gave him oxygen and he soon woke up and was able to speak normally.

When Bailey learned that the assisted living facility where her parents were staying had an outbreak, she had Ben pick them up and take them away, but unfortunately her mother was already sick, so Ben brought her to the hospital. As her condition declined, Bailey decided not to have her intubated and simply sat with her mother while she died. ("Fight the Power")

Tom remained in the hospital for a while, still being treated for COVID-19. He was in a room with another COVID patient named Hector Martinez who eventually died of COVID. Meredith, meanwhile, finally woke up after eight days of sleeping nearly constantly. Her labs were continuously improving until she left her room to tend to a coding patient in the room across the hall. After tending to the patient, she collapsed and had to be helped back to her bed. Teddy then said she needed to be put on a ventilator and Richard, as her medical proxy, consented. ("No Time for Despair")

While walking through a train station speaking Italian to one another, Carina and Andrew DeLuca were subjected to harassment for being Italian by a man who passed them and asked how they were even let into the country because he believed all Italian people had COVID. Later, while riding a train, a woman who was seated near them moved to a seat farther away when she heard them speaking Italian. ("Train in Vain")

While Tom's condition improved, Meredith remained in a coma and reliant on the ventilator to breathe. ("Helplessly Hoping")

While on desk duty at the station, Ben treated a musician, Jerry, who was too scared to go to the hospital because he was living with HIV. They talked about the similarities between that plague and the COVID-19 pandemic, including government inaction, the spread of misinformation, and the unrelenting grief. ("Learning to Fly")

Meredith remained on a ventilator. She tested negative for COVID and her numbers were improving, so Teddy tried wearing her off the ventilator. She lowered Meredith's settings, but when Meredith didn't show signs of spontaneous breathing, Teddy put her on her previous settings and said she'd have to stay on the ventilator. Meanwhile, Byron Gibbis nearly died because he avoided seeking medical care for a dental infection due to COVID. ("It's All Too Much")

Marsha was improving, so she was told she'd be sent home the next day. Jack took the day off so he, Inara, and Marcus could pick her up. However, before they could leave, they learned she'd taken a turn for the worse and there was a good chance she'd end up on a ventilator. Marcus was upset about this, so to boost morale, Maya brought a ladder truck to the hospital so Jack could take Marcus up to Marsha's window to show her the banner he'd made wishing for her to get well soon. ("Make No Mistake, He's Mine")

While treating Charlie for a drug overdose, Travis tried to put a mask on his best friend, Libby, but she quickly pushed it off her face. ("No One is Alone")

At the hospital, Richard told the other doctors they were down to their final four available ventilators, meaning doctors needed to try everything possible to keep their patients from needing them. When they got down to a single ventilator available, mother and daughter Marcella and Veronica Diaz both needed it. Because Veronica had a better chance of survival, they put her on the ventilator and kept bagging Marcella. Then Maggie had the idea to use a y-shaped tube to split a single ventilator between Marcella and Veronica. This also solved their overall ventilator shortage by allowing them to double the number of patients treated with the same number of machines. At the same time, Tom Koracick returned to work at the hospital and Meredith's condition improved as she began breathing over her ventilator. At the end of the day, Owen determined that it was safe to remove her from the ventilator. He did so and Meredith breathed on her own, which the other doctors celebrated. ("Breathe")

The Catherine Fox Foundation sponsored a COVID testing site at station 19, which Carina coordinated with the help of the firefighters. All testing was done in cars, with people driving their cars through the barn and getting swabbed through the windows of their cars. Among those getting tested was Paul Montgomery, whose "golfing buddy" (actually a sexual partner) had a wife test positive.

Meanwhile, Marsha's son decided to have her ventilator removed as he had power of attorney over her. Jack, Inara, and Marcus FaceTimed with her while this happened. After the ventilator was removed, they sat and watched as she breathed on her own for a while. After some time, the whole team gathered in the break room to support them while they waited. Finally, Jack was telling a story about Marsha getting a bird for company when they heard Marsha start to laugh. Against the odds, she was breathing well on her own.

At the same time, Carina struggled as her visa was expiring, which would force her to return to Italy, where COVID numbers were even worse. She'd applied for renewal, but immigration offices were shut down, so her application wasn't being processed. After some thinking, Maya decided to go with her, to help her get settled in. ("Save Yourself")

At the hospital, a similar testing setup was enacted, with a tent in the parking lot serving walk-in patients. When Marcel tested positive, he told them he didn't have a way to quarantine away from his family, as he couldn't afford a hotel room, so Jackson had Levi book Marcel a hotel room. He did the same for several other patients as more tests came back positive. Alma Ortiz then informed them he was competing with local charities which had been working in the area prior to COVID, so he ended up coordinating with them to sponsor rooms instead of competing with them. ("Sorry Doesn't Always Make It Right")

Carina was forced to resign her position at Grey Sloan Memorial in preparation for her return to Italy. That same day, Maya told her that, though she wanted to, she couldn't go to Italy with Carina, which Carina understood. ("Here It Comes Again")

Over at the hospital, Meredith was still sleeping most of the day. Bailey sent her with Levi to have hyperbaric therapy to improve her oxygenation.

Jackson, with the help of Alma Ortiz, wrote out a proposal for free COVID testing and treatment, then sent it to his mother for consideration. She told him she'd consider it when revenues were improved, which he found dissatisfying, as he knew that wouldn't happen until the pandemic was over.

Meanwhile, Bailey treated Chad Anderson, who had collapsed by running. He told her repeatedly that he didn't believe COVID was real. He believed the government was incentivizing hospitals to diagnose people with COVID and then make them sicker by not treating what was actually wrong with them. He tested positive for COVID, but refused treatment and left the hospital against medical advice, despite having a blood clot in his leg and ground glass opacities in his lungs. He collapsed outside the hospital and was unable to be resuscitated. ("Sign O' the Times")

Before coming to the station to talk to the firefighters about the death of George Floyd, Diane Lewis had a rapid COVID test to make sure she was clear before visiting. Later in that shift, a man brought his sons, Donique and Corey to visit the station. They had to sanitize their hands before entering and wear masks. ("Get Up, Stand Up")

Over at the hospital, an ICU nurse named Jennilynn Mandap was discharged after six weeks in the hospital with COVID. At the same time, Meredith was still only able to stay away for a few moments at a time. An abdominal CT revealed a clot in her liver, so Teddy and Winston did a TIPS procedure to remove it. Winston then had the idea to bring Zola in to talk to her mom. They put Zola in PPE and had to sneak her into the hospital, but after she talked to Meredith for a while, Meredith woke up. Also, a 37 year old kindergarten teacher named Carolyn Rexton went into cardiac arrest and died after improving to the point where she no longer required oxygen. The doctors expressed frustration that they were learning new things every day about COVID, but they were so vague because the disease operated so differently in different people. ("Good as Hell")

When they came to visit Dean, Petra and Henry Lau told him they'd been tested in Hong Kong prior to traveling and got rapid tests when arriving in Seattle.

At the annual banquet for the Black Firefighters Coalition of Seattle, all attendees were seen wearing masks except while eating, drinking, or while distanced. ("I Guess I'm Floating")

When Jackson visited his father, he learned that his father had pivoted to delivering lunches to the community when COVID forced him to close his restaurant to patrons. ("Look Up Child")

Jack and Inara helped rescue Sonia, who had jumped out a window thinking there was a fire escape there trying to avoid her affair being discovered. When her husband found out about it, he attacked the man she'd been having an affair with, getting within six feet of him and claiming they were a pod because Matthew had slept with his wife. ("Comfortably Numb")

Over at the hospital, the doctors celebrated Meredith's recovery and finally began to feel like they'd gotten the hang of treating COVID patients. One of the residents, James Chee, revealed he volunteered at the Indian Health Clinic on his days off and had treated many COVID patients within the native community, which had been hit particularly hard by the virus. When the government sent a shipment of supplies, they found it only contained body bags. ("Tradition")

Levi got word one day that he'd been accepted into a vaccine trial run by Mason Post, exciting Jo, who felt it was a sign the pandemic would end someday. He had regular checkups as part of the trial.

As Maggie and Winston began to plan their wedding and Winston suggested doing it in New Zealand, as COVID had already been wiped out there.

Meanwhile, Meredith continued her recovery at home. She started looking into the long-term effects of having COVID, because she was still constantly exhausted, even while not doing much. ("I'm Still Standing")

On the day of Maya and Carina's Wedding, they invited only guests who were part of their bubble and were tested every three days and also tested everyone the day of the wedding in order to keep the event safe without masks. When Katherine Bishop attended unexpectedly, she wore a mask. ("Forever and Ever, Amen")

Maggie and Winston planned to have a small backyard wedding in August 2020, but his grandmother and her father objected, saying they'd looked forward to their wedding day and wanted them to do it properly, with other people. The backyard wedding was quickly postponed indefinitely as they awaited an end to the pandemic.

In September 2020, Gerlie Bernardo was preparing to leave the hospital after having spent a month in the hospital fighting COVID and two of those weeks on a ventilator. However, before she could leave the hospital, she collapsed and had to be taken back inside. The same month, Teddy unexpectedly tested positive for COVID and spent two weeks isolating from her loved ones to avoid infecting them.

In October 2020, Meredith cancelled grand rounds for the residents and instead had them follow Gerlie's case, as her post-COVID symptoms were more educational for them. Gerlie had a pneumothorax and multifocal pneumonia. Meredith herself struggled with her stamina, even having to call for a wheelchair while working on Gerlie.

Amelia's AA meetings moved from a virtual format to in-person, though outdoors and distanced.

In December 2020, Gerlie was back on the ventilator. When she coded twice overnight, Teddy put her on ECMO, feeling it was her best shot. Meredith began looking into research on lung transplants for COVID patients.

In January 2021, the hospital staff were all able to get their first vaccine for COVID. Owen's mother was also able to get her first shot when there was a leftover dose that would otherwise have gone to waste. Meredith fought to get Gerlie on the transplant list, though Bailey refused because her condition made her a bad candidate for transplant. Desperate, Meredith had all the residents repeatedly suggest a double lung transplant as the next treatment for Gerlie. Bailey still rejected it because of the risk of bleeding or sudden death, but later spoke to Meredith, who wanted to be an advocate for patients who had fought the virus off, but were still suffering weeks or months later.

In April 2021, with the hospital staff all vaccinated, Winston and Maggie had a wedding at the beach. Immediately after the ceremony, Meredith got a call that UNOS had lungs for Gerlie, forcing her and Teddy to leave early.

Gerlie's new lungs were transplanted without complication. Meredith sat by Gerlie's bedside after her surgery and texted Cristina, who was preparing to do a double lung transplant of her own. Gerlie then woke up and was surprised that Meredith was still there. Meredith assured Gerlie that she wasn't going anywhere. ("Someone Saved My Life Tonight")

Characters Present[]

Patients and Rescuees[]

COVID-Positive or Suspected[]

COVID-Negative or Unknown[]

Medical Personnel and First Responders[]


Since it's a global pandemic, every character shown still alive to this date is going through it, whether personally affected or not. The following people were explicitly shown in relation to COVID-19, quarantining, or using other safety regulations:

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This was the first event to reflect a real-world event, until the murder of George Floyd (among others) was also incorporated into the series.
  • Multiple doctors and first responders, including Meredith, Bailey, Ben, and Maggie, quarantined at hotels to protect their loved ones.
    • To facilitate this, Rosalind Warren moved into Ben and Bailey's house temporarily to care for their sons and Amelia and Link used their parental leave to care for Meredith's children at her house.
    • Irene Davis also moved in with Cormac to help with his sons, Austin and Liam.
  • According to Jackson, half the hospital's COVID patients were Black or brown, despite Black people making up only 7% of the population of Seattle.[1]


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