29 Jan The Weekend Australian: No Sense: Covid’s Weirdest Symptom
Ten months ago, I fell ill. Four days of textbook Covid lungs on fire then, as quickly as the burning pain had come, it went – and with it my sense of smell and taste. I remember vividly the moment that I noticed its absence: London had been in lockdown for a week and Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in isolation after testing positive for SARS Cov-2. I’d been washing my hands for what felt like the hundredth time when the moisturising lotion I always use, a heady mix of mandarin rind, cedar atlas and rosemary leaf, yielded nothing, not even the hint of a fragrance. Confused, I uncapped and sniffed several of my perfumes desperately, one by one. Nada. Panicked, I grabbed a floral bleach-based toilet cleaner that normally makes you pull back in shock and put my nose right into it. Zilch. The sensory vacuum was so intense that for a few seconds I felt as if I were in free-fall in a faulty elevator.