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Scrubs Scene Perfectly Explains Why Social Distancing Is Important

Emily Brown


Scrubs Scene Perfectly Explains Why Social Distancing Is ImportantNBC

An eye-opening scene from the sitcom Scrubs perfectly demonstrates why social distancing is vital amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The beloved hospital-based comedy came to an end a decade ago, but the message displayed in the season five episode My Cabbage is more pertinent than ever as society gets to grips with the idea of self-isolation and maintaining good social distance.


Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person, and can spread through respiratory droplets that may come out through a cough or sneeze.


The Scrubs scene illustrates how infection can be transmitted through social contact, starting with a single sneeze.

It shows a mother holding a tissue over her son’s nose, the tissue turning green to illustrate infection spreading on to it. It spreads to the mother’s hand, who passes it to a doctor when she greets him.


A nurse catches the infection through an accidental collision; it’s passed to another woman through a touch on the shoulder – ‘and just like that you have a patient in trouble’.

Watch the scene here:

The message continues with another doctor, who catches an infection from a used glove he throws in the bin. He then shakes the hand of an elderly patient, and the infection can be seen taking over her entire body.


Handshaking, hugging, and even accidentally bumping in to people on the street are things we do everyday, often without even thinking about them. This scene illustrates just how big an impact these small encounters can have.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is advising social distancing in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus; to ‘flatten the curve’ and ensure it is not spread more quickly than our healthcare systems can handle.

It encourages everyone to maintain at least one metre (three feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and advises regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub.


As evident in the Scrubs scene, infection can take over your body when you touch your face. The WHO warns that once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, and in turn enter your body and make you sick.

To avoid this, the organisation encourages avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially if your hands are unclean.

Unlike the young boy on the TV show, the WHO also advises following good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. If you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately.

All of these measures can help prevent the spread of the virus; a necessary measure to help healthcare systems give patients the care they need.

Infection spreading in scene from ScrubsNBC

Scrubs is known for goofy jokes and scenes made of fantasy, but this particular scene should not be taken lightly, especially at a time when curbing the spread of the virus is so important.

By maintaining social distancing and following the WHO’s advice as much as possible, you will be helping yourself and countless others stay safe.

It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.

Topics: Film and TV, Coronavirus, COVID-19, infection, Social Distancing


Naima/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Naima/Twitter


  2. World Health Organization

    Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

  3. NHS


Emily Brown
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