A recent scientific study found that the use of face coverings is the most effective way to reduce person-to-person spread of COVID-19. Despite being mandatory in most public places around the world, the use of wearing face masks has become a topic for debate for some people. That’s why American TV television presenter Bill Nye “the Science Guy” took to TikTok to demonstrate the importance of wearing one.
“Why do people in the scientific community want you to wear a face mask when you are out in public?” Nye asks in the first video as he holds up a disposable mask. “Face masks, like this one, prevent particles from my respiratory system from getting into the air and then into your respiratory system.” Nye then uses a lit candle to show how much air (and invisible respiratory particles) escape his mouth when it is covered by a variety of fabrics.
Nye first uses a knitted scarf to show how it obstructs the movement of air. Unsurprisingly, it's not effective, and he’s still able to blow the candle out when it’s covering his mouth. He says, “It can block the movement of air, but only to a certain extent.” He then presents a homemade two-layer cotton mask. After putting it over his nose and mouth and attempting to blow the candle out, the flame moves only slightly but remains lit. Nye reveals how these simple DIY face coverings are hugely effective. He says, “If you're wearing one of these, you are protecting yourself and those around you.”
In a second video, Nye continues his experiment with an N-95 mask, and the candle remains totally unaffected. “The reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect you, sure, but the main reason we want you to wear a mask to protect ME from YOU!’ He exclaims. “This is literally a matter of life or death.”
Watch both videos below and see more of Nye's videos on TikTok.
Need more convincing? Scientists debunk some common myths about wearing face masks in this article.