My Turn / Coronavirus / Taste / Smell

'I Had COVID, Now Food Tastes Rotten and Wine Tastes Like Oil'
6 min read
The scent I smell all the time is rotting meat and food tastes, in general, rancid to me. Everything from chocolate to cucumbers, herbs and fresh cut grass, they all started smelling and tasting...
Towards the end of March, I was still going to work as normal in my hometown of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I had been feeling bad, but I thought it was a sinus infection as I get those with the change of seasons. Then, on Saturday April 4, I was sitting in my backyard with my family by our fire pit. The smoke was going right up my nose, but I just couldn't smell it. My neighbour is a nurse, and she told me that she thought I had COVID-19 and that I should get tested. So on the morning of Monday April 6 I got tested. And sure enough, I had COVID-19 and I had the flu.

As there weren't many tests available, I was told to behave as if the whole family had the virus. So I called into work immediately and then we hunkered down. I had a foster daughter with us at the time, and my son and my husband we all quarantined for two weeks. The kids fortunately didn't get sick, but my husband partially lost his sense of smell as well.

Two months later, I still didn't have my sense of smell back, but I started to smell burning toast. I was a little concerned as there are some suggestions that it's a sign of having a stroke. But I ended up smelling toast for about a week. Then the smell transformed into that of burning French fry grease. That might not sound so bad, but when you smell it for 24 hours straight, it makes you nauseous.

It smelt like it was coming off my clothes, that scent was just sitting in my olfactory system constantly, giving me headaches and nausea. Shortly after that, my family and I were on a pontoon boat and my brother-in-law spilled a little gasoline. Perhaps it hit a nerve, because for the following three weeks, I could only smell gasoline.

Before contracting COVID-19, I had no idea about parosmia. It's a condition where the individual experiences distorted scents and it is a side effect some people have experienced after contracting COVID-19. My sweet husband actually sat for half a day and found the AbScent Parosmia and Phantosmia Support group on…
Chanda Drew
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