Grey's Anatomy is gearing up to tackle "the medical story of our lifetimes", says executive producer Krista Vernoff.

While filming is currently still on hold due to the pandemic, the long-running medical drama television series will write the global coronavirus crisis into their season 17 storylines.

During a panel interview with the Grey's Anatomy cast, Vernoff confirmed the long-running medical drama television series will write the global coronavirus crisis into their season 17 storyline.

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During the "Quaranstreaming: Comfort TV That Keeps Us Going" panel, which Vernoff attended along with Grey's stars Chandra Wilson (Dr Miranda Bailey) and Kevin McKidd (Dr Owen Hunt), she explained that the show's writers have already been in meetings with real-life doctors about the pandemic.

"Every year, we have doctors come and tell us their stories, and usually they're telling their funniest or craziest stories," Vernoff told People magazine of the show's writing process.

With coronavirus, however, listening to the doctor's real-life stories was harrowing.

"The doctors come in and we're the first people they're talking to about these types of experiences they're having. They are literally shaking and trying not to cry, they're pale, and they're talking about it as war - a war that they were not trained for."

Vernoff explained that while it was "really painful" to hear the tragic stories, she feels it is "important that they are shared."

"I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories," she says. "Our conversations have been constantly about how do we keep alive humour and romance while we tell these really painful stories," she told People.