The coronavirus outbreak has not even peaked in the U.S., but hospitals have already begun to run out of masks. The shortage is so severe that some hospital workers have even begun making their own masks out of everyday items such as office supplies. Now, several TV medical dramas have pitched in to help alleviate the shortage by donating their own supplies used for filming.
For weeks experts have stressed that civilians do not need to purchase face masks—but many have stocked up anyway, causing a supply shortage nationwide. On Monday, The Resident, which airs on Fox, donated medical supplies including masks, surgical gloves, surgical gowns, booties, and protective head gear from the show to Atlanta’s Grady Memorial hospital. Entertainment Weekly first broke the news.
Karen Law, who works at Grady as a rheumatologist, reacted to the donation on Instagram.
“Yesterday, I had a serious discussion with the residents about how, though supplies are low, a magical shipment of masks is unlikely to arrive,” Law wrote. “And yet, a magical shipment of masks DID arrive, in the form of this very generous gesture. This kind of community support means so much to our #frontlineproviders who are making many sacrifices to staff our hospitals and care for our community... We needed this kind of good news today.”
ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off, Station 19, have joined the cause as well.
“At Station 19, we were lucky enough to have about 300 of the coveted N95 masks which we donated to our local fire station,” show-runner Krista Vernoff said in a statement. “They were tremendously grateful.” The Grey’s Anatomy spin-off also donated N95 masks to Los Angeles’s Station 35 firehouse in Los Feliz.
“At Grey’s Anatomy, we have a backstock of gowns and gloves which we are donating as well,” Vernoff added. “We are all overwhelmed with gratitude for our healthcare workers during this incredibly difficult time, and in addition to these donations, we are doing our part to help them by staying home.”
The Good Doctor is also working on its own donation, which will also be made in Vancouver where the show films.
NBC’s New Amsterdam has also donated supplies—including masks, gloves, and gowns—to the New York State Department of Health.
This article has been updated.