Loss of taste and smell with Covid

Good luck! :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

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I have. By choice. I’m high risk, and pretty risk-adverse anyway. I have taught a class in person, and I shop/go to appointments regularly, but I’m always masked. I’ve been to a restaurant twice, once 3 weeks after my first 2 vaccinations, when all looked rosy (worst meal I ever had, though, staff obviously was decimated) and again after another booster, but nothing since then. I don’t count drive-throughs. :eyes:

No planes. Been to events, but always masked. It is not fun.


The mister, who is apparently able to catch a cold by hearing about someone who has one, has managed thus far to not get COVID. Despite that fact that I’ve had it twice (once with no symptoms, and again with plenty of symptoms). We’re both medium cautious - we mask on public transport, but eat in restaurants frequently. Maybe he’s just immune.


Good for him. I on the other hand seem to be one of those asymptomatic carriers. So I may be someone to avoid. I feel fine and will get you sick. Typhoid Mary…


Better for you, worse for everyone around you.

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Maybe, but maybe not. I read an update to a study (but not the study report itself, hopefully the mass-market version wasn’t too garbled) where they intentionally infected healthy people with no prior history of Covid. That way, they could precisely track the timing from infection, to viral loading, to symptom onset.

They also tested breath to see when the participants began actively emitting contagious viral particles.
One of the things found was that although high viral loads in the nose and throat preceded symptom onset, generally they didn’t start pumping out contagious viral particles until they had symptoms, and those who did not get symptoms didn’t pump out contagious viral particles.

I’ll have to see if I can find the study, though, because I think there was some wiggle language like “a little bit” or “minor amount” of virus being shed from at least one of those infected pre-symptomatically.

Maybe that was you.

P.S. relevant to retrospek’s original question, IIRC most of those who got symptoms also lost smell, but got it back within 3 months.


Came back from a trip to Seattle with a mild case of Covid. Scratchy throat was my biggest symptom. Primary called in a scrip for Paxlovid and all was well. Except my wife developed symptoms the next week. Same Tx and outcome

We had all the vaccines that were offered prior to the infection

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So scary to think of losing taste and smell for the long term!


Avoided until earlier this year. Didn’t get on a plane for 2 and a half years, didn’t go into a grocery store or eat inside for 2 years. After 8 months finally saw our grandkids (5 hours away) and did get a variety of colds from them. Life intervened and our youngest son got married in Hawaii in February and we picked up Covid on that trip. Very mild and got much sicker the next month from the 2 and 4 years old giving us the flu. Went to London/Paris in May and no problems except for jet lag. Getting newest booster tomorrow with flu shot and then RSV next week. Still going to market but use self check out and back to eating outside. My husband had two heart valve surgeries during Covid and that was probably our biggest stress. Just feel very lucky to live in a temperate climate and can be outdoors almost the whole year. The no taste think sounds hard.


Everyone I know who has had covid once or even twice, a dozen or so close relatives friends, maybe a bit more for associates and others , ALL have had or are still having taste issues for going on 3+ years. I’ve not had covid, test monthly with negative results, vaxxed and boostered X4 now. Before the vax, I tested negative many times for antibodies. Earlier this year my taste buds went on vacation. Chocolate, ginger ale, asparagus and artichokes just don’t relay those wonderful taste sensations to the brain. Weird!


My wife & I both have escaped it so far (knock wood) despite living in a retirement community w/ 200+ residents and there’s been about 20 cases reported. I read an article couple months ago that stated something like 25% of the US pop has not caught it.

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My husband & I have had it before, and he caught it this time as well - along with my mother. I lost my sense of taste the first time I had it, but that recovered rather quickly. This time it’s taking longer. I tested positive on Sept. 16. I can taste and smell some stuff now, but not completely. Not much appetite because of that. Mom & I also have moderate to severe fatigue. DH is bouncing around like nothing happened, and his symptoms were of much shorter duration. We’ve all had the same vaccines and boosters, but he’s healthier overall than the two of us.


TBH I could use a few months of no taste or smell, as long as it isn’t for the rest of my life.

For weight loss? I have always had a keen sense of taste and especially smell, not always a blessing. I have always been able to smell things that many others cannot and am often bothered by odors that other people can’t detect. Even when I was little, my grandmother always held the milk bottle up to my nose to tell her if it was good or not.

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Yes, for weight loss. I am a good cook, I like what I make, and I love food in general. I have a keen sense of smell and taste as well (and agree that it is often more of a curse than a blessing), and I genuinely enjoy eating with all my senses.

If I couldn’t taste or smell what I’m eating I’d lose interest pretty quickly. Bland food bores me. Also, super-spicy food is the opposite extreme. I can only eat a few bites before I feel full / the pain in my mouth is too high to continue eating :rofl:

So, those are my choices. Cook super bland shit or super spicy. Or lose my sense of taste & smell.

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Wow that’s surprising!

That’s called a human challenge trial, or sometimes controlled human infection study (CHIM). They are rare because of the ethical considerations. I believe the Imperial College London ran the first (only?) Covid-19 human challenge study - perhaps it’s the one you’re remembering?

Ethics approval in 2021:

Article about results published in 2022:

Published paper with the results:



It’s funny for about a week, then life gets grey pretty fast, although the Big J thought it was hilarious to test me periodically by floating an air biscuit in an enclosed space. He knew for sure I wasn’t faking anosmia when he got no reaction. I still need to formulate some kind of revenge for that.


Thanks Tex. I believe that’s the same study I saw mention of. They’ve been continuing to analyze and make calculations of the data, and publishing new facets from time to time. Here’s a more recent description of their further/continued data analysis, published by Imperial College London in June 2023.

Which discusses the part I mentioned above, regarding infectiousness vs asymptomatic/symptomatic infected people, and which here is summarized as:

  • The vast majority of virus was emitted after people noticed their first symptoms, with very little virus released into the environment before that (pre-symptomatically).

Another pop-press discussion of this said that pre-symptomatic viral shedding was virtually non-existent. But I don’t know if they had laid hands on actual data or not. Guess I’ll have to await their actual data publication to see what the numbers are.

But recall that universal mask mandates (that is, for well people as well as those who were ill) were justified mainly on the notion that pre-symptomatic people had recognizable nasal viral counts, and so were presumed to be infectious, which according to this latest data release may not have been the case. Lots of nasal virus pre-symptoms, yes, but environmental shedding of virus, pre-symptoms, apparently not.


There is so much we’ve learned since the early days of the pandemic. We were doing our best but in 20/20 hindsight would likely make different choices. I am glad at least we erred on the side of protecting people.