COVID source shout-out: the gasoline index?

Two weeks ago, I reported that the Yankee Candle Index is once again predicting a major COVID-19 surge; in other words, an influx of online reviewers are complaining that they cannot smell their Yankee Candles. (Remember, loss of smell is a major COVID-19 symptom.)

Well, this week, the Yankee Candle Index was joined by a new indicator: gasoline. Apparently, there’s a new TikTok trend in which users try to smell gasoline and find that it has no scent. I am not a TikTok user, so I learned about this from Twitter, but I agree with the COVID-19 commentators pointing out that this is likely a symptom of the BA.2/BA.2.12.1 surge.

If about one in five New Yorkers got these Omicron subvariants within a two-week period, then that’s potentially a lot of people (in NYC, in the Northeast, or even nationwide) who have lost some sense of smell recently.

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