COVID-19 survivors experience long-term loss of smell, taste

A+sticker+saying+Do+Your+Part+6+Feet+Apart+is+placed+on+the+ground+at+the+Covid-19+testing+center+at+State+Farm+Center+Oct.+9%2C+2020.+Survivors+of+Covid-19+report+that+they+still+have+issues+with+their+sense+of+smell+and+taste.

Cameron Krasucki

A sticker saying “Do Your Part 6 Feet Apart” is placed on the ground at the Covid-19 testing center at State Farm Center Oct. 9, 2020. Survivors of Covid-19 report that they still have issues with their sense of smell and taste.

By Weiyu Ding, Staff Writer

COVID-19 survivors have experienced long-term effects of  smell and taste loss or distortion.

Omar Sweidan, junior in Engineering, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September 2020. He has recovered but has not gotten his sense of smell and taste fully back.

“Even for now food smells and tastes weird,” Sweidan said.

His sense of taste and smell changed a few days after contracting COVID-19. For example, he said he felt his cologne smelled strange and that the food he ate tasted bland. He still remembers the last delicious meal he ate was at P. F. Chang’s restaurant.

“I went to a few doctors and they said that so far they have no cure for loss of smell or taste,” Sweidan said. “And it’s just a matter of waiting until maybe they develop a cure and maybe they’ll come back naturally.”

Amani Khatib, junior in AHS, felt her sense of smell is not as good as it used to be even though she has recovered from COVID-19.

“I woke up and I had really bad cramps and a really bad shiver and I couldn’t get out of bed,” Khatib said. “And then I got tested and actually it was weird my first test came back inconclusive. I did a second test and it came back positive.” 

She said she was shocked when she tried to smell perfume and instead smelled alcohol. She was also shocked when she smelled dustiness instead of fresh air. 

“I was scared a little, but I was thankful that I’m young,” Khatib said. “I was mostly scared because my grandma lived with us and my parents too.”

Khatib said her taste is better, but it’s not as sensitive as it used to be. She felt she was more sensitive to things that were sour.

“I got my taste back a lot sooner than I did with my smell,” Khatib said. “My taste came back by the time I went back to school in August, but my smell is … a little bad.”

Khatib is grateful to her friends and her family.

“Even during COVID when we were sick, they still sent care packages, and people still checked up on us,” Khatib said.

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