Side effect of coronavirus turns woman into vegetarian because meat now “tastes like gasoline”


The bizarre side effect of Covid-19 has forced 34-year-old Pasquale Hester to eat only raw vegetables and mild cheeses and says life is now a “living nightmare”

Pasquale Hester, 34, lost his taste and smell for the first time in March

A woman who caught Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic says she can no longer eat meat because it “tastes like gasoline.”

Pasquale Hester, 34, was struck by the coronavirus in March and it left him with a distorted sense of taste and smell.

The head of the Bingley Children’s Behavior Center in West York says she can now only eat raw vegetables and mild cheeses.

Pasquale’s distorted sense – known as parosmia – trapped her in a “living nightmare.”

She said: “Never in a million years would I have considered being a vegetarian before this, but now I have no choice.

“I haven’t eaten meat for months now. Eating isn’t pleasant anymore, it’s a chore.

She says Covid made meat taste like gasoline


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“Raw vegetables like snow peas, carrots and mushrooms are okay, but anything that steams smells awful. “

Pasquale lost his sense of taste and smell when the coronavirus first hit the UK in March – but his only other symptom was a stuffy nose, which doctors called hay fever.

Three months later, when her taste buds returned, she could tell something was wrong as everything suddenly had an underlying chemical aroma with fried foods and toothpaste smelling so bad it made her vomit.

Desperate for answers, Pasquale searched the internet for an explanation and discovered a Facebook community of post-Covid-19 survivors who were all going through the same thing.

She had a healthy appetite, but illness changed that


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Now the phenomenon that was added to the NHS website as a recognized side effect of Covid-19 would last for weeks or months, but Pasquale says things are only getting worse

She said: “I couldn’t smell or taste anything for months, it wasn’t until I bought a cup of coffee in June, when the lock was finally lifted, that I thought ‘I can smell that, “but it didn’t smell good.

“Then a lot of things started to smell really funny. If I walked past a McDonald’s or somewhere with fried food, it literally made me throw up.

“I went to eat a poppadom and spat it out right away because it tasted like paint.

“Around the same time I went to clean my teeth and the toothpaste tasted absolutely disgusting.

Meat is off the menu now – she only eats cheese and vegetables


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“I went out and bought a new toothbrush and toothpaste four or five times, but nothing helped. I didn’t know what was going on and things were only getting worse.

“I came across a Facebook group for Covid survivors who were all reporting odor and taste issues.

“There are millions of us around the world saying the exact same thing – you shower, open your nice shower gel and it smells absolutely disgusting. We all have the same diet, that’s very food. bland.

“I come from an Italian background where onions, garlic and meat used to be part of my diet, now I can’t get anywhere near them.

Pasquale couldn’t smell or taste anything for months


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“I live on mild cheese and snow peas a minute because that’s all I can handle.”

Although Pasquale admits that she is lucky that she was not affected by a more severe attack of the virus, she says her distorted senses are a “living nightmare” that has robbed her of her social life.

She said: “It’s a living nightmare, and it really affected my social life because you don’t realize how food and drink-centric outings and interactions are until you can. more to have.

“There’s no way to describe it and it’s so hard to get people to understand what it is. How to tell someone your coffee smells the same as when you go to the bathroom.

“There are things I have found that smell and taste the way they should, like rhubarb gin and Lipton peach iced tea.

“When I tried it and it really tasted like it, I cried because I was so happy.”

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