Ellen Pompeo on 'Grey's Anatomy'

These 'Grey's Anatomy' Theories Could Explain How Meredith's COVID Battle Will End


Meredith Grey has survived a whole lot on Grey's Anatomy. Over the course of 17 seasons, she's made it through almost drowning, an active shooter in the hospital, and a plane crash, not to mention all the emotional trauma she's processed from losing countless loved ones. At this point, it seems like Meredith should be able to make it through anything. But this season, she's contracted COVID-19, and for the first time in a while, fans are seriously worried about her fate. These theories about Meredith's COVID case on Grey's Anatomy will give you a lot to think about during the show's winter hiatus.

The Grey's Anatomy Season 17 winter finale aired Dec. 17, and the show won't return for the rest of the season until March 2021. That means audiences will have to wait a long few months to find out what happens to Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) as she faces the coronavirus. In the Dec. 17 episode, Meredith woke up from her week-long coma and seemed to be doing better. Unfortunately, that didn't last very long. When Meredith saw a patient in a nearby room coding, she jumped to action to try to save them. The move was too much for Meredith, who immediately collapsed and was then put on a ventilator. Fans have a lot of thoughts and feelings about Meredith's state, including some theories about what her declining health could mean.


Meredith's Story Mirrors Another Character's Death

Grey's Anatomy fans have seen lots of characters die over the years, and some astute fans have drawn parallels between Meredith and one particularly memorable character death. In Season 9, Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) was recovering from the plane crash that killed Lexie (Chyler Leigh). He had a lot of energy and seemed to be fine... until he crashed. It turns out, his burst of energy was simply a surge before he died. Fans on Twitter have noted that Meredith's surge of energy seems pretty similar to Mark's, and now they're worried that means she'll meet the same fate as Mark.

Another fan on Twitter pointed out that at the end of the Dec. 17 episode, Meredith was wheeled by what looks like the room Mark died in. Their theory is that was a subtle visual cue to the audience that Meredith's situation is just like Mark's.

Meredith Recovers & Decides To Retire

Other fans are more hopeful about Meredith's recovery. But even if Meredith fully bounces back, her time as a doctor might be coming to a close. One Reddit user posits:

My hope is that Mer recovers and this is a wake up call for Mer who decides to retire early and spend more time with her kids. The hospital continues on, etc.

It's hard to imagine Meredith Grey no longer working at Grey Sloan Memorial. But then again, it was also hard to imagine her contracting a deadly virus before the pandemic happened, so I suppose anything is possible.

Meredith Will Have COVID Symptoms For A Long Time

Another fan theory is that Meredith's health will improve, but she'll live with COVID symptoms for a long time after as a "long hauler." This theory is based on the many true stories of people dealing with side effects of COVID for months after contracting the virus. Grey's Anatomy hasn't shied away from many of the harsh realities of this pandemic at all, so it would make sense for the show to depict this experience as well.

Meredith Will Have A Choice To Live Or Die

As Meredith drifts in an out of consciousness, she's been spending time a lot of time on the dream-beach where she sees characters who have died, like Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and George (T.R. Knight). One fan theory is that the next visitor on the beach will be Meredith's sister Lexie, and that she'll be the one to help Meredith decide to leave the beach and continue living. It would be a poignant way to end Meredith's COVID storyline and hopeful way for her to continue on Grey's Anatomy.

Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursday, March 4, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.