Man terrified of losing sense of smell and taste living in self-imposed lockdown


Blair Bowman, 31, a whisky expert, began to limit what he was doing in February 2020 and has stayed in lockdown for longer than the rest of the UK. He says he has never been happier

Blair Bowman, 31 gave up his jet-setting lifestyle to protect his sense of smell and taste
Blair Bowman, 31 gave up his jet-setting lifestyle to protect his sense of smell and taste

A man who is terrified of losing his sense of smell and taste has been living in self-imposed lockdown since before the UK restrictions came in.

Blair Bowman, 31, a whisky expert, began to limit what he was doing in February 2020 and went into lockdown a couple of weeks before it was imposed nationally.

For nearly two years, he and his partner have been living in isolation in their Edinburgh home – and he couldn’t be happier.

Blair now only leaves the house for walks and grocery shopping, preferring to use click and collect, which is a stark difference from his “normal” life.



Since before the first lockdown, Blair only leaves the house for walks and collecting groceries
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Image:

Blair Bowman / SWNS)




Blair has travelled all over the world, including Malaysia, Greece, Norway and Turkey, attending business dinners and lunches as a whisky broker.

Despite this, he insists that he loves his new lifestyle and is able to continue with his job working from home.

Blair said: “We’ve both been in this little bubble since the start and made a decision early on to wait for things to blow over.

“For me the loss of sense of taste and smell was so important and quite a hard-hitting thing that made me decide to be more cautious.

“About 40 per cent of how we experience the world is taste and smell, I’d really miss being able to taste a nice coffee.

“It’s less about my job and more about how I’d enjoy life.



Blair is yet to meet with anyone indoors for almost two years
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Image:

Blair Bowman / SWNS)




“There is no point in even drinking whisky because people have told me they can only experience the texture of it and not the flavours.

“It looks like a large number of people do recover their sense of smell and that gives me a lot of hope.”

Last summer when Covid was at its lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, Blair would get takeaway coffees and meet people at a distance outdoors.









But, as the numbers began to creep up again, he decided to go back into lockdown.

Blair thinks “the short-term benefits of being out don’t outweigh the risks”, and that he has been able to move past the feeling of missing out on regular life.

When numbers began to rise the couple went back into lockdown, and took social distancing very seriously.

While he is living in isolation, he is still able to speak to people from all over the world everyday thanks to technology.



Blair will eventually travel again when he feels ready to take the risk
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Image:

Blair Bowman / SWNS)




Blair said: “I know I will have plenty of opportunities to travel, to have dinners and visit new places when I feel ready to do it.

“I’m more content than I’ve been at any other point in my life. My business is actually excelling and booming.

“I used to travel internationally – that was a lot of overheads.

“Obviously I enjoyed it and I look forward to going back to it eventually when I feel comfortable to do so but in one week, I can talk to clients in Japan, India, Europe and the USA and not have to leave my living room.

“I probably speak to about 20 people every day on average, so it’s not like I’m actually that shut off.

“It’s not like I’m a hermit – it’s just that I am not doing it in person and that’s the difference.”

Blair ensures that he is clued up on Covid statistics to ensure that he is able to make informed decisions about his limits.

However, he is yet to meet up with anyone indoors.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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