Man Wins Battle with COVID-19, Uses Experience to Help Others

Published: Apr. 11, 2020 at 8:49 PM CDT
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Matt Newey is a 23-year-old male who resides in Centerville, Utah. In March, he went with his friends to Colorado for a weekend Ski trip. On the last day of their trip, the resort closed, cutting their trip short. When coming back from the trip, Newey and his friends began to feel flu-like symptoms. He then had his monthly check up with his doctor scheduled, which led to testing of the flu and COVID-19.

"It was a complete miracle that I was able to even get tested at the time because my symptoms weren't severe enough to be approved for testing," Newey said.

The results came back where Newey tested negative for the flu and positive for COVID-19.

"I was in complete shock,” Newey said. “My heart started to pound, and I was like 'oh my gosh, I got to go tell all my friends that I was on that ski road trip with to quarantine themselves and don't get in contact with anyone."

He self-quarantined in his basement, to avoid contact with his family members. They often left plates of food on the stairs for him to eat and remain social distancing.

"My symptoms progressively got worse throughout that week. About on the third day of having symptoms I was having really bad chills, fever, body aches, and every time I stand up I get super light headed and dizzy, and every time I take a deep breath my chest was just super tight."

Not only did Newey's sense of smell and taste vanish, he experienced a bad cough one night, waking up with hives the next morning.

"It felt like I was breathing through a straw. My sinuses just really burned and were dry. It felt like I just ran a mile in the cold. It's been a scary turn of events. I've experienced weird symptoms; it's been like a roller coaster of symptoms. I'll feel high one day and the next day I’ll just feel so low energy and so out of breath."

As time passed, Newey got a call from the health department who said if he had three days without any cough, fever, or respiratory issues, then he's free from his quarantine. After his recovery, Newey voluntarily going on grocery runs for people with high risk of the virus.

"I thought 'Hey, I kind of felt like Superman right now.' I wanted to give back in some ways that I could to my community, since they sent me so much support."

He was shopping in the produce section where he saw a woman drop squash and put it back on the shelf. Newey confronted the woman asking her why she didn’t get a store employee to help pick up the food items.

"The reason I took this situation so seriously is because I think about those I’ve been running these errands for, these people I’m serving, they're very high risk and I don't want to take any chances or be responsible for the virus getting into their homes. Our old bad habits, there's no room for them now. We got to be very cautious about when we're in public areas and make sure we're not contaminating things."