Bill Nye's Viral Mask Video Shows How Effective Each Type of Face Covering Is
Check out Bill Nye's TikTok viral video on wearing a face mask in public is the right thing to do in this COVID-19 pandemic.
The recent video also gets tweeted by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and shows scientifically why you should wear a face mask.
“Face masks, like this one, prevent particles from my respiratory system from getting into the air and then into your respiratory system."
Nye, 64, then goes on to show how effectively different face coverings block airflow, starting with a scarf. After placing it over his mouth, he blows at a candle—and it goes out. "It can block the movement of air, but only to a certain extent," Nye explains. Not the most effective option, then.
Next, Nye puts on a homemade face mask made out of two layers of cloth and a pipe cleaner. This time, when he blows at the candle, the flame barely moves. Much more effective, then. “If you're wearing one of these, you are protecting yourself and those around you," Nye says.
The third and final option Nye shares in the video is an N95 mask, which is the recommended face mask for health professionals because it can filter out very small particles that could possibly contain the virus. "These are made to block particles in the medical environment, and when you're out mowing the lawn," he says. Nye’s video demonstrates just how effective the N95 mask is. "This one's not sterilized, but it's still pretty effective," he says, right before putting on the mask and blowing as hard as he can—and the flame doesn’t even flicker.
But Nye’s not quite finished. “The reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect you, sure,” he says. "But the main reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect me, from you, and the particles from your respiratory system from getting into my respiratory system.” He continues, "Everybody, this is a matter, literally, of life and death. And when I use the word 'literally,' I mean literally, a matter of life and death.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public when they are around people outside of their household, particularly it’s difficult to maintain social distancing. And as states reopen from stay-at-home orders, many of them have their own mandates requiring people to wear face coverings in most public spaces to reduce the spread of COVID-19.