‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Meredith Grey May Actually Die This Time

Meredith Grey is no stranger to death. In fact, if the show were renamed “Meredith comes insanely close to death but then survives,” it wouldn’t be an inaccurate depiction of what Grey’s Anatomy is about. Each of her brushes with the grim reaper has been escaped, but this time, as Meredith struggles to battle coronavirus (COVID-19), she may not be so lucky.

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo | Richard Cartwright via Getty Images

Meredith Grey almost dies a lot

Meredith’s nine lives started in season 2 when she stuck her hand inside a man’s body who had an undetonted bomb inside. The bomb squad had to help her survive the day without killing everyone in the hospital. In season 3, she and the rest of the interns had to perform surgery on a woman with “toxic blood” that made people pass out when in contact with it for more than 20 seconds. Meredith, of course, spent more than 20 seconds on the woman but somehow survived. Later that season, she fell off a ferry and stopped swimming to save herself. She was almost pronounced dead but one more round of drugs brought her back.

In season 6, a shooter rampaged the hospital and Meredith survived. In season 8, a lion got loose in the hospital. In season 9, she had a baby during a storm which caused her to have a C-section in the dark. When she made it through that, she started bleeding internally, but somehow survived again. In season 11, she survived the flight that killed her sister Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan and claimed Arizona’s leg. In season 12, one of Meredith’s patients beat her up after coming out of a seizure. She was left temporarily deaf but alive.

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Meredith’s battle with COVID

This season, Grey Sloan Memorial hospital has been ravaged by COVID. There is an overflow of patients and the doctors are tired and overworked. Meredith is one of the first doctors to have a hard battle with the virus. After being mostly asleep for days, Meredith’s doctors put her in a drug trial that, at first, seemed to help her. But later, she crashes and is worse off than before. This short burst of energy Meredith experienced is actually common with COVID patients.

“What I’ll say is this is from the many, many conversations we’ve had with our medical staff and our doctors who have consulted on the show,” executive producer and writer Andy Reaser told Entertainment Tonight. “We wanted to be as realistic as we possibly could about our portrayal of the virus and the dangers that it poses, and the COVID high or happy hypoxia is something that we’ve heard about again and again and again and again where you’re like, “Oh, we’re all better,” and then the person, just on a dime, completely crashes. It’s not something that we take lightly and we don’t want to feel like Meredith is being let off the hook too easily. The virus keeps everyone guessing and it’s relentless, so it’s going to take relentlessness to fight it.”

When the midseason finale finished, Meredith was getting put on a ventilator, which is never a good sign with COVID patients.

“With COVID, like Andy said, it’s so unpredictable,” executive producer Meg Marinis told the outlet. “No one can predict how the disease will go in a healthy person or an older person. There’s no consistency to it. And Meredith Grey is a young, healthy person, healthy doctor. The fact that it’s gotten this far, it’s super scary for all of us, as fans and also people living with this. There’s an urgency because it’s COVID.”