Classic ‘Scrubs’ Scene Teaches Us How Quickly Infection Spreads, Importance of Social Distancing (Video)

Follow the green glow

Last Updated: March 17, 2020 @ 7:33 PM

Healthcare officials are encouraging everyone to practice “social distancing” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. But if you don’t actually know what that means — and we promise not to tell anyone if you don’t — that’s OK, because a classic clip from “Scrubs” that has recently gone (excuse the pun) viral is here to help.

In the clip above — which is from “My Cabbage,” a Season 5 episode of the now-ended medical comedy starring Zach Braff — Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) explains to the Janitor (Neil Flynn) how quickly infection can spread as we watch a series of seemingly innocent events occur in succession, all starting with a kid’s sneeze.

“Infection can start with a simple sneeze,” Kelso begins his narration, which illustrates the movement of germs from person to person using a glowing green hand/arm. “And then a handshake. Perhaps an accidental collision. Then a simple touch on the shoulder. And just like that you have a patient in trouble.”

What Kelso is getting at here, and what is important to remember now that we’re all trying avoid contracting COVID-19, is that infection can spread so easily when people aren’t paying attention, aren’t practicing good hygiene, and are in especially tight quarters — like a hospital.

The benefit of us practicing “social distancing” is when we’re further apart from other people — people who might be infected, but we can’t see that because their hands don’t *actually* glow green to show it — we’re at a lower risk of getting the coronavirus. Get it?

Watch the clip above, but be forewarned, it ends on a very sad note, as the elderly Mrs. Wilk — the Sacred Heart staff’s favorite patient — is accidentally infected with a disease by Cabbage, an intern who wasn’t cut out to be a doctor, and on his way out of the hospital shook Mrs. Wilk’s hand after picking up a dirty medical glove.