As supplies of necessary items run low at hospitals across the US, medical television series such as Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor have handed over their stock.
The escalating coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage in masks, gowns and other crucial hospital equipment in the US – and some unlikely heroes have stepped in to help.
Medical television shows throughout America have offered up their supplies to hospitals on the coronavirus frontline. Series including Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, The Resident and Station 19 have all given over their own masks, gowns, protective eyewear, gloves and other necessary medical equipment to the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who need them most.
The first series to donate their supplies was The Resident, a medical drama on FOX that films in Atlanta, Georgia. The series handed over the items to Grady Hospital in the city, which is currently dealing with an influx of coronavirus cases.
On Instagram, Dr Karen Law thanked the series for its donation. “Yesterday, I had a serious discussion with the residents about how, though supplies are a low, a magical shipment of masks is unlikely to arrive. And yet, a magical shipment of masks DID arrive, in the form of this very generous gesture. This kind of community support means so much to our frontline provider who are making many sacrifices to staff our hospitals and care for our community.”
Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor and Station 19 all quickly followed suit. “We have a backstock of gowns and gloves which we are donating,” a spokesperson for Grey’s Anatomy told Entertainment Weekly. “We are all overwhelmed with gratitude for our healthcare workers during this incredibly difficult time, and in addition to these donations we are doing our part to help them by staying home.”
Despite experts reassuring people that wearing a mask is not necessary for going about your daily life, supplies have been depleted. This is a very real issue for the healthcare workers on the frontline, because for them masks are a vital and necessary piece of equipment. Wearing them, alongside gowns, goggles and gloves, is what keeps physicians and nurses safe from coronavirus infection.
President Donald Trump has said that “millions” of masks are currently in production to help healthcare workers, but hospitals in coronavirus epicentres such as Seattle, Washington – where Grey’s Anatomy is set – are in danger of running out. Soon.
“We’re days away from running out of the equipment we need,” Melissa Tizon, Associate Vice President of Providence St Joseph Health told Reuters. Tizon’s group run 51 hospitals across five states in the US’ west. “We’re expecting more shipments later on but until then we’ve got to improvise.”
Staff at hospitals in Seattle have been fashioning masks out of sheets of plastic, industrial tape, foam and elastic.
“This is a think-outside-the-box situation, and we as a country need to be innovative,” Dr Niran Al-Agba, a pediatrician in Seattle, told the New York Times. “It feels like a war zone a little bit. We need to do as much as we can to save as many as we can.”