As had been reported during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the loss of taste and smell became tell-tale signs of infection. Months later, some claimed they were still unable to properly smell and taste things as they normally did pre-pandemic; this was being called long COVID.
Coffee that smells like gasoline
But now, several COVID survivors have come forward detailing experiences of bizarre taste and smells numerous months after first having been exposed to the virus.
In an interview with The Times, one such patient, Brooke Viegut, explains how, though she is able to smell things, they don't correspond to the object they are taking a whiff out of. The Times reported that:
Before she regained it completely, parosmia set in, and she could not tolerate garlic, onions or meat. Even broccoli, she said at one point earlier this year, had a chemical smell.
One other survivor, Marcel Kuttab, who as a result of COVID has gotten her sense of smell all mixed up, says smelling coffee reminds her of gasoline. She explains that upon going on a shopping spree at her local grocery store, she noticed she could not bare the aroma of certain foods—foods that she had, in the past, very much enjoyed smelling.
A third COVID survivor, Janet Marple, reports not being able to smell coffee, peanut better and even feces without associating it to a smell vaguely resembling burning rubber. She said:
I literally hold my breath when shampooing my hair, and laundry is a terrible experience. Even fresh-cut grass is terrible.
Many more have been left with a mixed up sense of smell
And the phenomenon doesn't just stop with these three cases. In fact, more than 10,000 people have joined a facebook group organized to discuss the topic in hopes of finding a solution or, at the very least, seek comfort in knowing they are not alone.