Covid with a comic twist... sniffing all the way

sunanda satwah
3 min readMar 27, 2021


It didn't happen to me, until eventually it did!
After an year of skirting covid19 & snubbing my masked nose at it, IT finally got to me.

It started innocently enough, headaches (that I chalked to long online classes & incessant lecturing); then mild temperature, always less than 100°F (is it even considered a fever?)
Boss's orders: 'Get tested!'
Fair enough.
Unpleasant swabs & dabs down the nostril hole & tongue. Nail biting wait. And, Holy gluacomole! Report positive!!
Okk! Take a deep breath! The world has dealt with it for an year, vaccines are available, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright & clear, we are pros right?

After 6 days of staying under 100, things started heating up. Day 9, am in hospital with pneumonia. Ow-kay! Lesson learnt! Do not undermine the virus!

It's one of those things that you think will not happen to you, because well, you religiously sanitize your hands, wear masks, snicker at other covidiots.... until it just happens to you. Period!

The report resulted in an overwhelming outpouring of incredible love & support from all quarters (big hug to all my peeps!!), and some amusing insights.
Now, FUN is what this heart seeks. The rest, is well, life!

By Day 5, I had lost sense of smell. It actually wasn’t the absence, but the presence of a distinct smell that masked or rather dulled all other scents. Out of curiousity I unbottled all perfumes & spices in my house, sniffed at soaps, but to no avail. Always more curious than careful, I set on a merry sniffing trail & was pleasantly amazed at how I could smell, nothing! For the first time, my sink full of dirty dishes didn’t stink! And eyes don’t smell. My rule of a clean house, if it doesn’t smell, its clean. Obviously not a great fan of decluttering or Marie Kondo, I usually rely on my nose to tell me when the house is in need for a deep scrub.

When I diced onions that night for an omelette, my eyes didn't sting & in the longest time I can remember the wretched bulbs didn't make me cry.
Suddenly the inability to smell wasn't such a bad thing after all. I seemed to have been saved from all unsavoury smells, sweaty armpits, bean-induced farts, milk gone rancid! And I could indulge in onion & garlic, guilt-free. Ofcourse, my olfactory sensibilities are not automatically shared by others, but I was under self isolation & in home quarantine, to boot. So, who cares!
For the first time in my life i could let myself go & nosebody would object. No sir! I was finally free of my olfactory subjugation. I had won the battle of the sniffs, snots & whatnots.

When I shifted to the hospital, blimey, i forgot to pack a deodorant or its humble cousin- talcum powder. But no matter, because my new roomie couldn't whiff for nuts, either. For someone who has forever been conscious of body odours, to be liberated from the captivity of smells & scents albeit temporarily, has revealed an alternate state of being.

I am on Day 12 now & hope to reclaim my olfactory senses soon. However, through this experience am learning new & curious things about my body, people & life in general.

Uri Geller's words come to mind,
'Whenever you fall, pick something up'.

So here I am, trying to make the most of the hand I have been dealt :)



sunanda satwah

Architect, Educator, Writer, Artist, Dreamer…