An Episode of ‘Scrubs’ That Taught Fans How Disease Spreads Just Became Creepily Relevant During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Scrubs is one of those shows that will never get old, no matter how much time goes by.

The comedy-drama medical television series aired from 2001 through 2010, highlighting the antics of medical students J.D., Turk, and Elliot along with their instructors, Dr. Kelso and the endlessly sarcastic Dr. Cox. The show was hilarious but at the same time highlighted universal truths about the human experience.

Now in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one specific episode is becoming popular all over again as the world enters the unchartered territory of social distancing. The episode, called “My Cabbage,” includes a sequence of events that perfectly illustrates how easily viruses can spread — just like coronavirus.

Sarah Chalke, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison | Courtesy of NBC/Getty Images

‘Scrubs’ star Zach Braff is spreading the message about how viruses spread

The Scrubs/coronavirus connection all started when one woman tagged actor Zach Braff, who played J.D. on the series, and wrote in a tweet, “I showed this [clip] to my kids and I think it made a bigger impact than anything else I’ve said.” She included a video clip from the episode in her post. Now that Braff retweeted her, the clip has more than 1.4 million views.

The clip in question shows a person spreading invisible germs by making them visible. In the episode, germs are depicted as a glowing green light that gets passed from person to person through inadvertent transfers. Ultimately, an elderly woman dies because of the spread, even though the person who passed it to her had no idea his handshake would be deadly.

The ‘Scrubs’ clip clearly illustrates the importance of social distancing

Everyone from the federal government to friends on social media have been advocating for social distancing even if you’re not sick, but people still keep breaking the new rules by populating public spaces. Curiously, it takes a clip from a comedy series that hasn’t been on the air for a decade to truly break down the reasoning behind staying home unless absolutely necessary.

The green light in the clip starts out on one person and then spreads around the hospital. Even though the people aren’t sick when they spread the germs, the consequences of their actions prove deadly in the end.

Celebrities are speaking out about coronavirus

Braff isn’t the only Hollywood actor joining the conversation about coronavirus. A few A-listers including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba have revealed that they tested positive for the virus and are urging fans to stay home to curtail to spread. But despite their diagnoses, these celebs are staying upbeat.

“This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus.  Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. No panic,” Elba wrote.

Like Braff, Elba is encouraging fans to follow guidelines and stay home to prevent the spread of infection. And for anyone who needs a refresher on how that could happen — it’s as easy as watching a Scrubs rerun.