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Health

Woman breaks down in tears at being able to smell coffee after long COVID treatment

She hasn't been able to smell anything since she contracted COVID-19 two years ago.

coffee smell long covid

Jennifer Henderson smells coffee for the first time in two years.

When we think about how hard it would be to lose one of our senses, we usually imagine losing our sight or our hearing. But what about losing our sense of smell?

Being able to smell may not seem as important as being able to see or hear, but that doesn't mean it's not a big deal if you can't. Our sense of smell functions as an early-warning safety alert system, for one thing, so losing it can put us at risk. But smell is also one of our biggest memory triggers; a familiar scent can transport us to a specific time and place in the past in an instant. Pleasant smells can also evoke joy, whether we're inhaling the fragrance of our favorite flower or basking in the mouth-watering scent of our mom's cookies.

One of the most beloved scents in the world, even for people who don't like the taste of it, is the smell of coffee. So when 54-year-old Jennifer Henderson got to experience her first whiff of coffee after two years of not being able to smell anything at all, her reaction was understandably emotional.


Henderson has been dealing with "long COVID," a term referring to new or lingering symptoms long after an initial acute COVID-19 infection wanes, since she contracted the virus two years ago. Long COVID can manifest in many ways, one of which is the senses of smell and taste going awry. For Henderson, long COVID has resulted in bananas tasting like metal, garlic tasting like gasoline and her sense of smell being nonexistent for two years, according to WOIO News.

However, Cleveland Clinic anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialists Christina Shin, M.D. and Jijun Xu, M.D., Ph.D. have found that a common pain medication treatment seems to help many COVID long haulers regain their sense of smell and taste. The doctors told WOIO they don't really konw why it works, but it does offer hope for many who are suffering with long COVID like Henderson.

"You feel like you're in this box," Henderson said in a video shared by CBS. "For two years, two senses are gone, completely gone. And now I just feel like I'm getting my life back. I'm getting back to normal."

Watch the moment she realizes she can smell the coffee:

People struggling with long COVID often feel forgotten as the world increasingly moves away from focusing on the pandemic. It doesn't help that there's still so much we don't know. As can be expected in a novel viral pandemic, data has taken time to collect and analyze, and even defining long COVID has been a challenge as researchers learn in real-time about the long-term effects of COVID infection.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that as of January 2023, the estimated workforce numbers affected by long COVID range from fewer than 500,000 to as many as 4 million. A study published in Nature in January 2023 estimated that long COVID occurs in at least 10% of acute SARS-CoV-2 infections, with more than 200 symptoms impacting multiple organ systems being identified with the condition.

Thankfully, breakthroughs like the one from the Cleveland Clinic do offer hope for people who have had far more questions than answers about their symptoms. Hopefully, we will see more people get relief like Henderson did as doctors and scientists keep working to decipher the long COVID puzzle.

True

Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.

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Pop Culture

'British Bake-off' judges sample American snacks. Their favorite might surprise you.

Either way, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith bring every bit of wholesome delight that 'Bake-off' fans have some to expect.

Bon Appétit/Youtube

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith judge American snacks for Bon Appétit.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, renowned hosts of the beloved “British Bake-off” show (as well as its predecessor “The Great American Baking Show”) have sampled some of the best, most indulgent, most artistically crafted sweet and savory treats imaginable. They’ve built entire careers off of knowing what tastes good, and what doesn’t.

So when put against their expert taste buds, how might our everyday American snacks fare? Would they gag over a Twinkie? Would they prefer Snicker’s to Reeces? Could they handle the heat of Flaming Hot Cheetos? Which snack would be crowned champion?

These were the questions that Bon Appétit aimed to answer in a video posted to Youtube that has every bit of delight that all “Bake-off” fans have come to expect.
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Pop Culture

UPS driver shares his weekly paycheck, and now everyone wants to apply

People are shocked to find out how much delivery drivers make.

@skylerleestutzman/TikTok

People were shocked to find out how much Skyler Stutzman earned as a UPS driver

People are seriously considering switching careers after finding out how much can be made as a UPS delivery driver.

Back in October, Skyler Stutzman, an Oregon-based UPS delivery driver went viral after sharing his weekly pay stub on TikTok.

In the clip, Stutzman showed that for 42 hours of work, and at a pay rate of $44.26 per hour, he earned $2,004 before taxes, and ultimately took home $1,300 after deductions.

This both shocked the nearly 12 million viewers who saw the video…not to mention it stirred their jealousy a bit.

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Joy

Doggo loses his mind with joy when he finds out he's going to visit Grandma and Grandpa

Sound up for this one because Nosh REALLY loves his grandparents.

Nosh freaked when he found out they were going to see Safta and Boppa.

Eagerly anticipating a trip to the fun and doting grandparents' house is something we think of children doing, but one couple's doggo proves that visiting the "grandpawrents" is just as exciting.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed nearly 30 million times, dog owners Skylar and Deko are nearing the end of a 20-hour drive from Phoenix to Kansas City, Missouri. Their good doggo named Nosh, sits in the backseat, looking out the front window.

Suddenly, Skylar asks Nosh if he wants to go visit Safta and Boppa, the nicknames of his grandparents, and he immediately reacts. You can practically hear him say, "Whut? Grandma and Grandpa? Are you serious?!? OMG, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!! When are we gonna get there?!?" only it comes out as a series of squeals and whimpers and sneezy woofs of joy.

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Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Agent Scully and Mulder

As any “X-Files” will tell you, mystery is a major part of the show’s intrigue. After all, Agent Mulder and Scully dealt with some new kind of paranormal phenomenon every episode.

But it’s usually not a mystery centered around the show itself.

That is, unless we’re talking about a catchy country song that appears during the 5th episode of season 6, titled “Dreamland II,” which premiered in 1998. During the episode, Mulder gets body-swapped with an Area 51 employee at a dive bar, where the song plays in the background.

It was a song “so good” that Lauren Ancona tried to use her Shazam app to find its title. Only nothing came up. So then she tried to look up the lyrics. Still nothing. Finally she decided to look up the episode itself.

That’s when she realizes she was stumbling upon a decades long puzzle that even the most high tier “X-Files” aficionado couldn’t solve.

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Democracy

Urban planner shares a simple and proven way to cut rents in half

“Housing is ultimately for people, not profits.”

Why is one building so much cheaper?

Over the past few years, one of the most significant contributors to the increase in the cost of living in the U.S. has been skyrocketing rent and housing prices. A big reason for the rise is the lack of housing supply. Estimates show that Americans need to build around 6 million more housing units for supply to meet demand.

If we are going to build more housing units, About Here’s founder urban planner Uytae Lee, suggests that the U.S. and Canada focus on building more non-market co-op units.

He lays out his theory in a video entitled “The Non-Market Solution to the Housing Crisis.”

To illustrate his point, he highlights two apartment buildings side by side in the up-and-coming Olympic Village neighborhood in Vancouver, Canada. In one building, the average rent for a 2 bedroom is $4,500. However, in the building across the street, a 2-bedroom unit only costs $1900 a month.

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