TikTok users who have lost their sense of taste due to COVID-19 are poking fun at the unpleasant symptom with lighthearted taste test videos.
One of the more unusual symptoms of the novel coronavirus is the loss of smell and taste, which sufferers have found uncomfortable, unpleasant, and alarming.
But a few younger people who’ve contracted the virus aren’t feeling too put off by losing one of their sense entirely, and are poking fun at the experience by drinking things like hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and minced garlic right out of the container.
A game: TikTok users who have lost their sense of taste due to COVID-19 are poking fun at the unpleasant symptom with lighthearted taste test videos
Setup: When Shannon Roche, 25, and her roommate (pictured) got the virus, they played a guessing game, with Shannon’s roommate pouring her surprise shots
Bonding: The pair both had the virus, but only Shannon lost her sense of taste and smell
Not all gross stuff: The roommate got her to taste heavy cream, cookie dough, and more
Shannon Roche, 25, is one such TikToker who has made light of her loss of taste and smell.
She told Fox News that she first realized she might have coronavirus when she ate a sour cream and onion-flavored chip and tasted nothing.
‘After realizing I couldn’t taste it, I went and sprayed myself with perfume to see if I can smell that and when I couldn’t smell anything, I knew I had COVID and that’s when I went to get tested,’ she said.
Her test came back positive on July 8, and her roommate had it, too.
She appears to be one of the luckier patients, though, and was healthy enough to make a funny TikTok video with her roommate, who could taste just fine.
A bit off: Shannon guesses that hot sauce was soy sauce and thought rum was vodka
Way off: She guessed that a shot of balsamic vinegar was medicine
Got it! She correctly guessed when she ate garlic and asparagus, possibly due to the texture
Texture: A spoonful of alfredo sauce was mistaken for mayo
When she was fed chocolate chip cookie dough, she thought it was crunchy peanut butter
Her roommate set up several food items for Roche to taste while wearing a blindfold — and she has to guess what they were.
Among the foods were hot sauce, crispy onions, cookie dough, alfredo sauce, lemon juice, heavy cream, balsamic vinegar, and rum.
Shannon, unable to see — or taste, guessed that lemon juice was apple cider vinegar and that hot sauce was soy sauce.
She thought balsamic vinegar was medicine, alfredo sauce was mayo, cookie dough was chunky peanut butter, and rum was vodka — which wasn’t far off.
Her correct guesses were heavy cream, garlic, and asparagus.
Game time: Cammie Cookie, 19, did her own version of the trend after getting a positive test back in August
Down the hatch! In her video she tasted el Jimador Tequila and apple cider vinegar
Yum! She had shots of Texas Pete Hot Sauce and minced garlic with her eyes open, but didn’t register any reaction to the strong flavors
Eyes open: She didn’t blindfold herself or guess what she was tasting
Cammie Cookie, 19, did her own version of the trend after getting a positive test back in August.
‘I saw other people doing the taste-test trend on TikTok, and I thought it’d be fun to do with my loss of taste and smell in quarantine,’ she said. ‘Since I could not leave my apartment, I had to keep myself entertained in some way, and the taste-test trend did just the trick!’
She didn’t blindfold herself or guess what she was tasting, though.
Instead she had shots and spoonfuls of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, el Jimador Tequila, apple cider vinegar, and minced garlic with her eyes open, but didn’t register any reaction to the strong flavors.
Experts at University College London said today that eight in ten people who lose their sense of smell or taste have COVID-19.
COVID-19: Cases in the US are up to 7.2 million as of October 1. Lost of taste and smell is a common symptom
Big losses: Over 206,000 people have died from the virus in the US
The researchers studied nearly 600 people who lost their sense or smell at the height of the epidemic in April and May.
They found that 78 per cent had antibodies showing that they had the virus. Of these people, 40 per cent did not have a cough or fever.
Lead author Professor Rachel Batterham (UCL Medicine and UCLH) said: ‘As we approach a second wave of infections, early recognition of Covid-19 symptoms by the public together with rapid self-isolation and testing will be of vital importance to limit the disease’s spread.
‘While people in the UK who experience sudden onset loss of smell or taste are advised to self-isolate and seek a test, at a global level few countries recognize this symptom as a COVID-19 indicator: most focus on fever and respiratory symptoms.
‘Our findings show that loss of smell and taste is a highly reliable indicator that someone is likely to have COVID-19 and if we are to reduce the spread of this pandemic, it should now be considered by governments globally as a criterion for self-isolation, testing, and contact tracing.’
They said their research suggests that people who are no longer able to smell everyday odors like garlic, coffee, or perfume should self-isolate and seek a test.