This is a modified excerpt from Inside Your Head 🧠, a weekly newsletter exploring why your brain makes you think, feel, and act the way you do, written by me, Elemental’s senior writer and a former brain scientist. Subscribe here so you won’t miss the next one.
In 2011, a majority of young people said they would rather give up their sense of smell than give up Facebook. Ten years later and oh how the times have changed.
At first glance, anosmia, or loss of smell, may seem like a trivial consequence of Covid-19 when compared to the other vital organ systems that can be affected. However, smell plays a key role in our daily lives and can easily be taken for granted until it’s suddenly gone.
Of the five senses, smell is the one most closely associated with memory and emotion. Smell is practical. It tells us when a peach is ripe, when the milk has gone bad, and when we need to bathe. Simply put, smell is important. When a disease like the novel coronavirus takes…