Covid-19: My Sense of Smell Has Permanently Changed

I may have had Coronavirus — but without an antibody test being publicly available in the UK back then, nor now — I won’t know for sure.

2020 — was a cataclysmic year for almost all of us. My mum contracted Covid-19 in hospital and survived — which is miraculous given her age and existing health conditions (If you’re interested, her continuing health she puts down to fruit, vegetables, lots of lemon and ginger tea, using tea tree-based soap for washing her hands. Please always consult a doctor!)

Has my sense of smell permanently changed due to covid? Image of a 3D nose sculpture stuck onto canvas
Has my sense of smell permanently changed due to covid? Image of a 3D nose sculpture stuck onto canvas
Photo by Trude Jonsson Stangel on Unsplash

My sense of smell has changed

Right now, I still have a sense of smell, but it has altered the depth of scents and without a better adjective, their notes and timbres (isn’t it funny how we equate music and smell?). I can’t fully enjoy the plethora of scents from flowers, cut grass or really, most food at the moment.

What is Parosmia?

Parosmia. This sudden transformation in olfactory perception is called parosmia — a type of dysosmia, and a word I was not aware of until recently.

It’s been on and off like this since last April.

Current view of antibody tests from gov.uk (screenshot taken 24/3/2021)

I think back to wondering if I should have taken my symptoms more seriously at the time.

February 2020

Cough, splutter, cough. A sore throat that lasted for a few days.

March 2020

An overstretch from yoga would suddenly last for days and days, rather than an hour or two the next morning. I put it down to stress and poor asana form, and so resolved to get more sleep, go slow, drink far less coffee and much more water. You know, the usual bull we tell ourselves when we’re clearly flagging.

April 2020

The month and days congealed into a mass of what-will-happen-next — but my symptoms — the cough, the smells, the aches — all literally dried up.

May 2020

“Great news Jane — your Mum is being released from hospital today!”

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

March 2021

Everyone says it, but so much has changed since then.

And to reiterate — carers: from primary carers who work as professionals, unpaid carers who have no choice but to look after their family or friends — somehow, are still not afforded the respect and allowances that they deserve.

But there are ways that we can help carers, care about carers, or recognise and help carers in a practical way that is not a glib clap on a Thursday night to look good in front of the neighbours. There’s always room for improvement in this world of infinite possibilities.

✨Blog about New Realities re: linguistics, health, computing, philosophy, XR, marketing, privacy, narrative, cleantech. ✨ Views ≠ my employers’ or clients

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