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'A roller coaster of insane, weird and new symptoms' | Videographer shares his coronavirus journey

A 23-year-old who caught the virus early on is still suffering after-effects weeks later.

SAN ANTONIO — “It was pretty shocking how hard this virus hit me because, you know, I’m young and healthy. I’m only 23 years old," said photographer and videographer Matt Newey.

For Newey, telling stories is nothing new.

“I love documenting and telling stories. That’s my biggest passion in life.”

But the middle of a national pandemic isn’t quite when and how he expected to be telling his story.

“I was taking every precaution. I was washing my hands constantly, all the time, and I did not want to get sick because, y’know, I was living at home with my parents and I didn’t want to bring it home to them and put them at any risk.”

The Utah native believes he caught the coronavirus during an early March ski trip with four of his friends. When they got home, all five of them tested positive.

“I get a call from my doctor and he’s like, ‘Hey, we got your results back, and you’ve tested positive for COVID-19,’ and I was in shock," Newey said. "I was just like, ‘Is the world ending?’”

Newey spent the two weeks quarantined in his basement with his camera equipment documenting everything, hoping his story would help people understand how serious the disease can be.

“My symptoms with the virus were like a roller coaster of insane, weird and new symptoms that I’ve never really had before,” he said. “Headache, fever chills, hives, sore throat. I lost my taste and smell, which was super weird.”

He says that even now, several weeks later, he is still feeling the after-effects of the virus.

“It’s been over, like, almost two months, and my muscles are still super tight. My neck is always stiff,” he said. “It affected my appetite, to where I’ve lost over 15 pounds because of it.”

But as the writer of his own story, he was determined to give it a happy ending, running errands for people at risk and donating plasma to help fight the virus.

“In the end, I’m kind of thankful I was able to experience it because it’s given me this neat opportunity to fight this virus in a way.”

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