OPINION: Anosmia, and strong black coffee.

OK, I am a coffee fiend.

Our kitchen remodel has a nice little coffee bar feature, designed by my wife Pat, and it’s a great way to get the Keurig, the pods, the mug and warmer I just received from my boss Brian Whitmore and his sweet family, stirrers and sweetners all in one place. Right now, the small rack in this spot displays Christmas mugs, but those will change out soon. 2021 is upon us

Now, it appears the coffee corner, and the coffee pot and cabinet above it that we have at The Chronicle, could be life-savers. 

I ran across this interesting article on Yahoo!:

“The day can’t start until you’ve crammed your nose deep into a cup of joe, am I right? According to Daily Coffee News, coffee is more than a toasty, pleasantly pungent wake-up call: it’s also being used as a COVID-19 sniff test of sorts.

“Recent studies indicate that up to 80% of people with COVID-19 suffer from anosmia, or loss of smell. That’s where coffee comes in. Researchers are suggesting that people take a deep whiff of their coffee every morning to see if their sense of smell has gone off, one of the earliest predictors of a positive COVID-19 test.


“‘One of the things that can be done pretty easily, pretty objectively by someone at home would be to take some ground coffee and see how far away you can hold it and still smell it,’ Tufts University School of Medicine Professor James Schwob recently told the University’s news service. ‘Or do the same with rubbing alcohol or your shampoo. If your nose is not congested and you have trouble recognizing those or other scents that are familiar to you, you might want to call your doctor about getting tested.’”

Daily Coffee News adds that some researchers are taking the sniff test to the next level, using coffee in olfactory test strips and even encouraging medical professionals to use coffee as a diagnostic tool. Of course, smelling coffee is not a foolproof endeavor, and it’s certainly not an official COVID-19 testing mechanism. And while anosmia is common among COVID-19 patients, being able to smell doesn’t mean you’re COVID-free. When in doubt, just keep doing what you’re doing: mask up, stay home, and keep on sniffing those sweet, sweet beans until you’re vaccinated. You can sniff them after you’re vaccinated, too. Sniffing coffee rules.”

When I had Covid-like symptoms -- Dec. 7, 2019 - Jan. 16, 2020 -- I can’t remember thinking, “I can’t smell this coffee,” but I might’ve. Truth is, on Pearl Harbor Day of last year, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as the Coronavirus. 

Now, of course, we all know about the virus and the disease, and the death it can cause. On Dec. 17, 2020, Laurens County passed the 30,000 infections threshold. And, we are all hoping the vaccine works to stop this dreaded disease.

The United States leads the world in COVID-19, and for a simple reason: We are a mobile society. We don’t like being told, “Stay Put,” and we especially don’t like to be told to wear a mask.

Vaccinations hold the promise that will not be the case - and sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, as I start the day with smooth jazz and news on-line, I will take that first, long whiff of my morning cup. Then, a sip.


(Vic MacDonald, editor of The Clinton Chronicle, takes his coffee black and drinks hot Green Tea. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle. MacDonald can be reached at 833-1900.)


COVID-19 By 

The Numbers, 

as 2020 ends:


Laurens County Cases: 3,492

Laurens County Deaths: 76 

Clinton Cases: 1,025

Laurens Cases: 1,215



Greenville County Cases: 35,987

Spartanburg County Cases: 19,283

Georgia Cases: 632,299

North Carolina Cases: 516,828


South Carolina Cases: 298,050

South Carolina Deaths: 5,173

South Carolina hospitalizations: 14,050

SC Recovery Rate: 89%

SC Tests Positive Rate: 28.5%

SC Cases Past 2 Weeks: 41,575

SC Tests: 3,587,445


United States Cases: 19,588,656

United States Deaths: 341,316


Worldwide Cases: 81,357,166

Worldwide Deaths: 1,776,051


Sources: Dec. 28, 2020, figures; SC DHEC, since mid-March, and worldometer. Vaccine Info: scdhec.gov/vaxfacts



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