TikTokers With Coronavirus Try to Shock Their Tastebuds Back to Life In Latest Social Media Trend

Of all the symptoms of coronavirus – cough, fever or chills, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea – one of the strangest is the loss of taste and smell.

If you’ve never had this happen to you before (either because of COVID-19 or something else, like a sinus infection), it is a truly bizarre experience. Eating tasteless food is not only joyless, it’s an out-of-body experience. And for some people, it’s a form of entertainment.

“Who – and where – are these people?” you ask. Good question. The obvious answer: TikTok. Yes, the latest social media trend involves people who’ve had coronavirus and still can’t smell or taste a damn thing put various edibles in their mouths for filmed “taste tests.”

From raw onions and minced garlic to anchovies and apple cider vinegar shots, TikTokers are trying to shock their tastebuds back into action. One in particular, @RustardLikeMustard, has built his whole brand on sampling strong-flavored foods which he consumes sans reaction. His first post in early November garnered 18.3 million views; he’s since amassed 80,000 followers and released a line of merch.

Ah, but the fame will likely be short-lived. Experts say the olfactory support cells will repair, restoring people’s sense of smell and taste within a matter of weeks. Then these trending TikTokers will either have to delight social media users with their outrageous reactions or find another schtick.

Cover Photo: TikTok

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