In 2006, Scrubs aired an episode that showed exactly how infections can spread among people.
And now – in the midst of a global pandemic with the rise of the novel coronavirus – people are sharing episode 12 of season five, entitled 'My Cabbage'.
In it, the head of Sacred Heart hospital, Dr Bob Kelso, tells the janitor:
Do you know the number one cause of death in a hospital? Infection. And do you know how quickly infection spreads in a hospital?
He then broke it down, with a simple video montage how germs (visualised in bright green) can spread:
Infection can start with a simple sneeze and then a handshake. Perhaps an accidental collision and then a simple touch on the shoulder. Just like that, you have a patient in trouble.
The episode ends with medical student Jason “Cabbage” Cabbagio throwing an infected glove into a medical waste bin and then shaking hands with patient Patricia Wilks (played by The Waltons actress Michael Learned).
Just as she’s about to be discharged from the hospital for another illness, she falls ill again from touching her face after shaking the med student's hand.
Spoiler alert: She died as a result of the re-infection in the next episode.
In light of COVID-19, people began sharing clips from the episode on social media to highlight the importance of washing hands and social distancing:
People had a lot of thoughts on the episode:
Now, please go wash your hands and practice social distancing if advised by local medical professionals.