STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. A 23-year-old Utah man is recovering after he contracted COVID-19 visiting Colorado.

Matt Newey said it really knocked him off his feet and he wants his story to be a wake-up call, or just a reminder, that people of all ages should take this virus seriously.

“I mean, you look at me, I’m young and healthy,” Newey explained. “I love being active and this virus hit me really hard. And it just goes to show that we’re all susceptible to it.”

A ski trip to Colorado’s Steamboat Springs went downhill for Newey and his four friends. They were visiting from Utah the weekend of March 13th. Within days of returning home he tested positive for COVID-19 and his ski buddies weren’t far behind.

“We all just started feeling really weird. It got to the point where it felt like someone was just sitting on my chest, it felt like I was breathing through a straw and I could not catch my breath. I had no taste or smell, which was really weird, I didn’t know that was a symptom of COVID-19 at the time,” Newey said.

Newey explains that breathing was near impossible but he also had a cough, body aches and loss of appetite. After close to a month of symptoms, he’s still recovering but is no longer contagious.

“I still don’t have my taste or smell and my lungs don’t feel like they’re at 100% lung capacity,” said Newey.

He wants his not so great experience to encourage others to be extremely careful because the virus can reach anyone.

“I don’t wish this upon anyone,” Newey added. “Take this serious. As long as we follow these guidelines it’s going to be worth it knowing we did everything we could to help stop this spread from harming ourselves and our loved ones.”

Now that he’s back in good health Newey is paying it forward by running errands and helping out some of the higher risk people in his Utah community. He’s also working with health experts, giving blood and running tests, to help hopefully find a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.