The Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital staff is officially reporting for duty and Dr. Meredith Grey is focusing on what really matters. Ellen Pompeo dedicated Grey's Anatomy Season 17 to essential workers in a new Instagram post celebrating her return to set. Sharing a selfie from work, the actor made it clear that the thousands of healthcare workers who have died around the world due to COVID-19 will be in her heart as she begins production on this new, post-COVID season.
"First time back in my scrubs... since we shut down filming 7000 healthcare workers have died from Covid," Pompeo captioned her mask-wearing selfie with co-star Richard Flood, aka Dr. Cormac Hayes and one of Meredith's current love interest. "I dedicate my season 17 to all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing... this season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude. I hope we do you proud."
This isn't the first time Pompeo has recognized healthcare workers. In March, she thanked medical professionals for being on the front lines during such uncertain times. "Many of us have the privilege to self-quarantine and isolate and try to stay healthy, and none of you have that privilege," she said in a video posted on Instagram on March 13. She also added, "So this is just from me and my family to all of you to say thank you. We appreciate you, we love you."
Like many other series and movies, Grey's Anatomy suspended production in March after the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The series, along with its spin-off Station 19, even donated medical supplies, including N95 masks, gowns, and gloves, to the City of Ontario Fire Department and a firehouse in Los Angeles.
Now, five months later, the ABC drama is once again filming amidst the ongoing pandemic. In fact, Grey's Anatomy will cover the coronavirus in Season 17, as executive producer Krista Vernoff confirmed in a July Television Academy panel. "I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," she said. The new season will also feature more Flood as Hayes and Anthony Hill as Dr. Winston Ndugu, now that they are series regulars. There's certainly going to be a lot to unpack in Season 17 and here's hoping, like Pompeo said, they do healthcare workers "proud."