I had COVID, then my sense of taste went crazy. Let’s compare stories!

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Now this tastese like urinal cakes. Photo by Karly Gomez on Unsplash

I’d love to compare notes and stories with other people on Medium who are experiencing parosmia, a long term effect of COVID-19 on some people that is usually very unpleasant.

I developed what I call a “COVID” flavor a couple of months ago, a few months after having COVID. For me, it tastes like “urinal cakes”, the weird, artificial, kind of fruity little biscuits that they put in urinals and sometimes in public toilets.

Yes, everyone asks me how I know what urinal cakes taste like. I then ask, “Who among us hasn’t sampled those delectable-looking lozenges at least a few times?”

But in reality, I mean, it tastes like they smell.

When I first started to experience this, I was extremely confused. For about a week, I thought something might be going wrong with the sewage system around the house. Then I took a bite of strawberry-banana greek yogurt and realized it tasted 100% like urinal cakes and not at all like yogurt. It was pretty distressing for a while. Slowly, I’ve trained around it and am adapting. The following things now taste/smell like urinal cakes: strawberries, artificial candies, soap, pineapples, some apples (but not all), some whiskey (but not all), some wine (but not all), and occasionally I get an unexpected blast of it.

Coffee also tastes weird in a different way. For me, it tastes like somebody developed an “artificial burned food” flavor for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. It isn’t good, but it also doesn’t make it undrinkable at all.

For some people, all food tastes rancid and it creates serious problems. I think I’ve gotten off pretty easy so far, but who knows what else will happen? I think the biggest long-run risk, as I slowly learn to appreciate this flavor, is that I’ll eventually be found licking urinal cakes to get back to that 2020 feeling.

I’d love to hear your parosmia experiences in the comments, and feel free to link to your own pieces on it too!

Community Organizer. Enemy Lover. Pastor. Practices honest, serious, loving and fun discourse. (Yes, still just practicing.) Author of According to Folly, etc.

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