Corona Leaves A Bad Aftertaste
Fast forward to now, four months after I had corona. Sure, my taste and smell came back within the week of testing positive. But they came back wrong.
It’s hard to explain, but basically there’s a lot of foods that I loved that now all taste the same as each other. And that taste is awful.
Interestingly enough, it’s the same with smell. And the smell of these things that no longer smell good to me smell exactly the same as the things that taste bad. Like, there’s no difference between the smell of the bad stuff and the taste of the bad food. It all basically smells completely rotten.
The taste I noticed it first with was mint. Obviously, this was because I was brushing my teeth with mint toothpaste every day. I mean, no one exactly loves the taste of toothpaste, but I was confused why it tasted practically rancid. It was supposed to taste clean! I switched toothpaste brands twice, only to have the same disgusting taste fill my mouth every time I brushed. I started not wanting to brush because I despised the taste so much.
Also, I have always been a huge fan of mint gum, especially Spearmint. I always have a pack in my car. They are few flavors I chew, but Spearmint just hits different. Suddenly, it was hitting very different, but not in a good way. Still, I couldn’t figure out why mint was tasting so bad to me out of nowhere.
Next, coffee. I used to always get an iced white mocha from Starbucks, and it was my favorite drink. I was never particularly fond of coffee, unless it had copious amounts of milk and sugar in it. So, when the delicious sugar filled drink tasted off, I figured maybe it was just the coffee flavor being too strong, or maybe it was old coffee, which tastes substantially worse than already-gross regular coffee.
But then it kept happening, again and again. So I stopped drinking coffee all together.
Then, it was peanut butter. Specifically Reese’s, actually. Reese’s has always been one of my favorite candies ever. Chocolate and peanut butter? There’s few better combos than that. So I ate a Reese’s cup, as one does, and it tasted disgusting. I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t an old one or anything, so why’d it taste so off?
Similarly, I had Buckeye ice cream (chocolate ice cream with gobs of peanut butter throughout), and it tasted terrible. It was then that I noticed it only tasted terrible if the bite of ice cream contained peanut butter. The chocolate ice cream itself was completely fine.
I then recalled the Reese’s incident, and figured out that peanut butter was the thing that was tasting bad, so I went to the kitchen and got a spoonful of peanut butter. It smelled totally off, and tasted even worse. Suddenly, one of my favorite foods in the world tasted like total shit.
I wondered if this was related to coffee tasting bad, as well as the mint.
The last item on my ever-growing list of foods that suddenly taste bad after regaining my taste and smell, is meat. Honestly, this one is super inconvenient because it isn’t just one type of meat. It’s pretty much every kind of meat. Well, land meat, anyways, seafood is still normal. So far.
Anyways, it’s really only those foods so far, so nothing I can’t live without (though peanut butter is honestly a HUGE bummer), but it’s not like that’s the complete list. It’s just what I’ve figured out so far. I’m sure there’s still a lot of food I just haven’t gotten around to eating yet that tastes the same as what I’ve mentioned.
Side note, I know the difference between when something is actually bad, and when something only tastes bad to me, because there’s a specific flavor that all of these items have. Like I said, they all taste the same. So if I were to taste a new food not on the list, but it tasted exactly like them, I would know that it’s not actually disgusting, it’s only gross to me. Plus, any time I walk by a coffee shop with someone, they mention how good it smells (which, of course it does, coffee houses are an exquisite, delightful scent), but all I smell is literal shit. So, I have clues to know whether something is actually bad or if it’s just me.
Fun fact, I’m not the only one experiencing this! I’ve done a bit of research (aka I found people on the internet also dealing with this) and it’s called parosmia. An article by BBC I came across said that common descriptors of what things smell and taste like when you have parosmia is death, rotten meat, and shit. Bingo! That’s exactly what’s happening to me!
Also, I found people on Tik Tok describing the same thing! This Tik Tok below is actually what made me realize that COVID is the cause of this. I wouldn’t have known what was wrong with me if it weren’t for this girl.
There’s others, too! These Tik Toks make me feel so much better to know there’s others out there with the same problem. I mean, it sucks that people are suffering from this, but it’s also nice to know I’m not the only one.
I feel really overwhelmed learning about this. It’s like, hard news to hear, you know? I feel kind of bad about being upset that my taste and smell are messed up because, like, a lot of people died from COVID and the worst thing that’s happening to me is that peanut butter tastes bad. So, I feel a little selfish for being sad that I have parosmia now.
Is anyone else experiencing this? If you have it, do you smell rotten meat, too? I saw that some people smell plastic or burning, so I’m curious as to what you smell or taste if you have it, too. Let me know in the comments, and have a great day.