As I’ve mentioned here previously, the producer of a podcast that I follow and his girlfriend both contracted COVID-19. The girlfriend lost her sense of taste and the story they told about how they discovered this fact was simultaneously amusing and alarming. Of all the negative symptoms people develop after contracting COVID-19, this has to be one of the strangest. At first I’d assumed that this was some sort of glitch or misunderstanding, but a bit of online research showed that a surprising number of people have been losing their sense of taste, smell, or both.
Over at the Washington Post, there’s a story of a woman from Boston who was hit with both of these symptoms on the same morning. Not long afterward, she learned that she had contracted the virus.
On the first day of spring, Grace Lawlor woke up, brushed her teeth and realized she couldn’t taste her toothpaste. Then she took a shower, and realized she couldn’t smell her shampoo. It struck her as odd, but nothing to be too worried about; she felt otherwise fine.
“My roommate and I were almost laughing about it,” says Lawlor, 25, who lives in Boston. “Like, what the heck is this? It was the craziest thing.”
The roommate didn’t believe her, so she decided to prove it by putting hot sauce on her tongue.
“It was as if I was drinking milk,” she says. “I could literally bite into an onion like it was an apple. And there was just nothing there. It was just absolutely bizarre.”