SELF: 6 Ways to Cope With Having No Sense of Smell (From Coronavirus or Anything Else)

When I was eight, I held my brother’s smelly sneaker over my nose for a full minute and inhaled deeply several times. That was the first time my family believed I had no sense of smell, despite years of my replying “I can’t smell it” each time they referenced a scent that was, to them, palpable—a bad stink on the highway, fresh flowers in the home, a skunk on our hike.

Who could blame them for being skeptical? Anosmia, defined as the inability to detect smells, is a rare disorder that hasn’t historically gotten a lot of airtime—that is, until 2020, when people began temporarily losing their sense of smell from COVID-19.

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