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People in need of routine care fall between the cracks

Dr. Shankar Kurra with Monument Health said as COVID continues to be an issue, people in need of non-COVID care are missing out.
Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 8:18 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Family usually takes top priority this time of year, but the pandemic is making that more difficult.

While it might be tempting to reconnect in person, Dr. Shankar Kurra with Monument Health explains why now is not the time to forget CDC guidelines and health safety measures.

‘Tis the season to spend time with loved ones, but for this holiday season, the safer choice might be to stay home.

“We are beginning to see that because the large number of COVID cases, folks that need care, the non-COIVD care, diabetes, hypertension, strokes heart attacks,” said Kurra, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Monument Health. “These folks actually bear the brunt of this because now they don’t get care in a timely manner, end up either suffering worse or dying from it.”

Kurra said as COVID continues to be an issue, people in need of non-COVID care are missing out.

“Unfortunately, folks are either not coming to the ER or even seeking help because they’re trying to isolate themselves from COVID-19,” said Kurra. “The other fall out of this is when they really need care, now it’s a little too late.”

Not only has the pandemic had a mental impact on healthcare workers, but Kurra said seeing patients wait for routine care has as well.

“It’s very distressing,” said Kurra. “Every doctor you ask will tell you that, every nurse will tell you that. This is something we do for a living; this is our calling. We want to save lives, reduce suffering and treat disease in a timely manner and that really is very frustrating to watch.”

Kurra’s hope for the holidays? That people will consider the impact of gatherings.

“If people think about this,” said Kurra. “It would be very easy then to understand why you need to mask, not gather in crowds, not do all the things that will spread this disease.”

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