Among ongoing fears about COVID-19 at Lewis & Clark is a new phenomenon being reported by students who eat at Fields Dining Room, affectionately nicknamed “the Bon.” Numerous students have been afraid that they had contracted the virus that causes COVID-19 due to a lost sense of taste, when, in fact, the food is just completely tasteless. Losing one’s ability to taste is a common and easily identifiable symptom of COVID-19, and Bon dishes that are severely lacking in flavor or seasoning are bound to set off alarm bells in the minds of any student who eats there.
When asked about this experience, multiple Bon diners claimed that they were convinced they had COVID-19 after macaroni and cheese was served for dinner last week.
“I never knew food could be so tasteless, and that is why I panicked,” Julian Fry ’24 said.
Reportedly, the dish consisted of pasta with a near-flavorless sauce and just a hint of cheese.
“They somehow did not even taste like noodles,” Fry added.
Fry attempted to test his ability to taste further by eating his breadstick, which turned out to be too tough to bite and just bounced off his teeth. Already beginning to cry into his Bon takeout box out of fear of having contracted the virus, Fry called the after-hours nurse hotline in a panic.
Similar incidents are being reported by concerned students all over campus. Michelle Cho ’23 and her roommate Ingrid Johnson ’23 both believed they had been infected with COVID-19 when they ate a tofu stir fry from the Bon. Cho decided to forgo the sauce on her tofu, which she blames for its complete lack of taste. Johnson, having had some of the sauce and reporting that it did not increase the flavor of the meal whatsoever, does not think it matters much.
“It was mostly just salty,” Johnson said.
The pair immediately Googled common COVID-19 symptoms. Though they had none but a loss of taste, they quickly reported a potential infection and went into quarantine. Two days later, the roommates tested negative. They also discovered that they were indeed able to taste things after choking down a few Emergen-C packets in hopes of staving off the virus.
The tasteless seasonal vegetable medleys, complete with blackened broccoli and limp, collapsing zucchini wheels, are some of the worst offenders for concerned students. Sage Patterson ’22, who has doubted their sense of taste more than once after eating Bon vegetables, proposes a simple solution.
“I just dump a ton of hot sauce on everything I eat from the Bon. That way, I make sure my ability to taste is fully intact,” Patterson said.
Their strategy, though effective, leaves the less spice-enthused diners still searching for a way to make sure the Bon’s lack of seasoning stops giving them COVID-19 scares.