What It’s Like to Live With Parosmia and Anosmia

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There‚Äôs something about a global pandemic and lengthy at-home lockdown that seems to intensify the need for an after-work cocktail. In April, I considered a bottle of Cazadores blanco a pantry staple. Cracking ice into a rocks glass with a shot of tequila, soda water, and a squeeze of lime or two was the occasional, after-work break I needed from hitting refresh on the The New York Times website over and over again. But for a few weeks, the drink tasted like nothing. A cold collection of bubbles that was relaxing in its effervescence but wholly devoid of flavor. The smell was empty, too. I came down with COVID-19 in early March. I was lucky to have a mild case that put me out of commission for a few weeks but needed no hospitalization. The strangest symptom for me was the complete loss of smell, something called anosmia (and later, parosmia). At the…

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