Scrubs Clip Illustrates How Disease Spreads, Value of Social Distancing

A classic clip from Scrubs is currently making rounds, perfectly illustrating as it does how easily germs/viruses can be passed along from person to person, and thus demonstrating the importance of social distancing in the time of coronavirus.

In the Season 5 episode “My Cabbage,” Dr. Kelso– aghast to see that a bird has flown into and made camp inside the hospital — stresses to Janitor the health risk at hand. As Kelso explains communicability, we see how a random child’s blown nose can make its way from unwitting person to person, throughout a waiting room. And as the germ moves along, the newly infected’s hands/arms glow green.

The tragic rimshot to the lesson comes later on, just as Mrs. Wilk (The Waltons‘ Michael Learned) is readying to end a prolonged hospital stay. Because before she leaves, inept intern Jason “Cabbage” Cabbagio is seen in the hallway, innocently picking up a wayward medical glove. Once he does, his hand starts to glow green — just as he goes to bid Mrs. Wilk adieu, with a handshake. After which she touches her now-glowing face.

The subsequent Scrubs episode, “My Five Stages” (watch it here), continued the story of Mrs. Wilk’s fate.