The unmistakable whiff of smoke is often what first alerts someone to a nearby fire. But what if you can’t smell?
One of the most recognizable and baffling symptoms of COVID-19 is the loss of taste and smell, or anosmia. The odd side effect was met with mild amusement early in the pandemic, when videos of people comically biting into raw onions or drinking vinegar would go viral on social media.
However, the five senses – sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing – are part of the body’s warning system, alerting the brain to potentially harmful or deadly situations in the environment. While being unable to smell freshly baked cookies may be a disappointment, being unable to smell a gas leak could have dire consequences.