About losing your sense of taste (covid)-- it was very subtle to me

So, I believe I was exposed to COVID (possibly the Omicron variant) on Sunday, December 26 when I was at a gas station and some maskhole came in looking for tests. I started coughing the following day, and got runny nose and headaches.

I quickly got a doctor’s appointment, and he was able to see me the following Monday, December 3. By which point I’d lost my sense of taste. But it was subtle, you know? I had to taste like 10 or 12 different things to really confirm that everything tasted the same. The loss of my sense of taste was what convinced the doctor that I had COVID. I came in to get tested, but found out when I got there that they didn’t have any tests, and had never had any tests. (I only just now got tested, today). I was able to quickly regain it, though-- in fact, after the doctor’s appointment when we picked up a drive-thru order from Arby’s, I definitely tasted my Chicken Bacon Swiss.

People who’ve had COVID: Was it very obvious to you, or very subtle, that you’d lost your sense of taste?

I completely lost my sense of smell for several days, though not my sense of taste. Just to define terms, sense of smell is tied up with taste because most of what we think of as tasting food comes from being able to smell it. Did you lose your sense of taste (detecting sour, sweet, salty and bitter on your tongue) and smell, or exclusively smell? When my sister had Covid, she said she lost everything-- taste and smell.

Anyway, my timeline was: I first started getting cold-like symptoms on Wed., Dec. 29. I could still smell on Wed. and Thurs. even though I was congested, so I was hoping I wouldn’t lose my sense of smell, since I read that with the Omicron variant you don’t always lose it. But by mid-day Friday I was starting to lose my sense of smell, and by Friday night it was completely gone.

For the next several days my sense of smell was at absolute zero, even though I was no longer congested and could breathe through my nose just fine. A mentholyptus cough drop just tasted like a sugar pill for me. The only way I could tell it was a cough drop was if I inhaled through my mouth I could detect the cold sensation of the menthol.

By maybe Jan. 4 my sense of smell started coming back. The first thing I was able to smell again, oddly enough, was some toast I made for a sick family member. Now I’d say my sense of smell is about 60-70% back.

My sister and her husband/husband’s family had COVID in the early days of the pandemic. A few of them were very ill, but although there were hospitalizations, nobody died. My sister lost her sense of smell/taste but other than that, nothing. But she could eat a slice of apple and a slice of onion and not tell the difference.

I guess you don’t really notice “I’m not smelling anything” until you expect to. For me, it was the morning cup of coffee. It tasted (and smelled) like hot water. So, it was pretty obvious, but strange. Food varied in texture, but not really in taste. My loss of smell and taste didn’t last too long, I starting getting it back in a few days and probably normal in a week to 10 days.

My covid was a day and a half with no loss of sense of taste or smell that I was aware of. Tuesday night I had a tickle in my throat. Wednesday night I had the chills. Thursday night it was all over.

I’m almost 3 months out from having Covid (presumably delta). I lost my sense of smell completely a few days in. My sense of taste was affected, but I never lost it completely. I could taste all the basic tastes, but, e.g., I needed more sweetener in my coffee to be able to taste it. I could not taste most spices, I think because those are very smell dependent.

I did taste a piece of raw onion at one point, and it only tasted sweet to me.

My sense of smell was absolutely zero for a couple of weeks. Now, it is maybe 30% back. I just noticed today that my coffee tastes too sweet, so maybe my sense of taste is returning to normal now.