Bill Nye "The Science Guy” shared a public service announcement about face masks and how effective the materials used to make them are in a pair of TikTok videos Wednesday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Why do people in the scientific community want you to wear a face mask when you’re out in public?” Nye asks at the beginning of the video. “Face masks like this one prevent particles from my respiratory system from getting into the air and then into your respiratory system."
In the videos, while urging viewers to wear face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic, he tries to blow out a candle with his mouth covered by a few different materials.
First, he wears a scarf that he said “won awards in the Washington State Fair for both design and workmanship.” Of course, it was designed to keep its wearer warm.
“It can block the movement of air, but only to a certain extent,” he says, holding it over his mouth.
Then he easily blows out the candle.
Next, he tries on a homemade, double-layered cloth mask. In several attempts, the candle’s flame flickers but does not blow out. A surgical mask has a similar effect in a later video.
“If you’re wearing one of these, you’re protecting yourself and those around you,” Nye says.
In a second video, he wears an N95 respirator, which he explains can block particles in both medical and outdoor work settings.
He puts it on, blows at the candle, and the flame doesn’t budge -- not even a flicker.
“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 in your respiratory system from getting into my respiratory system.”
Coronavirus prevention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge Americans to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others, frequently wash their hands and wear face coverings in public.