While many regions of the world take drastic steps to encourage social distancing in the wake of COVID-19’s spread across the globe as a pandemic, much of the free time people have will be spent indoors consuming media. Streaming TV shows and movies, playing video games or even reading are all good options to pass the time and hopefully flatten the coronavirus infection curve, but one show in particular gave us a lesson in the power of social distancing back in 2006.
A clip from the comedy Scrubs went viral online over the weekend as millions of Americans avoided the outdoors and spent a lot more time online as they prepared for what could be a weeks-long social distancing effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, a highly contagious illness that the medical profession has struggled to react to properly across the globe.
Many have also struggled to change their lifestyles in the wake of the pandemic, as staying indoors and avoiding crowds is the best way to limit the spread of the disease, which is particularly dangerous to those with compromised immune systems and the elderly. Which is probably why it should be no surprise that fans of the NBC show Scrubs showing the dangers of accidental human contact rapidly spread online.
WHY WE NEED SOCIAL DISTANCING, as illustrated by Scrubs.
— Naima Cochrane (@naima) March 15, 2020
The episode, titled “My Cabbage,” is the 12th episode from Season 5 of the NBC comedy. It begins with a quick lesson in the opening credits about how disease can spread in a hospital from accidental contact and all kinds of happenstance when you’re around groups of people and interacting with many things. Bacteria is represented by a green coloring that spreads from hands to arms and other objects as it comes in contact with various people.
The green silently moves to different things throughout the episode, but the clip that went viral shows the episode’s beginning and its end, which is a patient being infected as she touches her mouth. The context here is that it’s Patricia Wilk, most people’s favorite patient in the hospital. She’s supposed to be going home after a long stay, but the final scene implies heavily that the disease she just came into contact with will be fatal.
Versions of the video in tweet form quickly spread all over Twitter, where even Scrubs star Zach Braff shared it for his more than two million followers.
— Sarah Baber (@sarahebaber) March 15, 2020
John C. McGinley, who played Dr. Cox, also shared it on social media as well. You know something is important if it can get Dr. Cox to agree with J.D. Practice social distancing and please wash your hands, everyone.