Bill Nye the Science Guy says that wearing a face mask "is literally a matter of life or death."
Using a candle and three different types of face coverings, Nye showed on TikTok how face masks block the movement of air.
Nye said that wearing a face mask "blocks the movement of air" and prevents "particles from getting into the air and then into your respiratory system."
Nye wore a homemade cloth face mask and an N95 respirator mask and was unable to blow out the candle in front of him, but wearing a knit scarf over his mouth, the flame blew out — demonstrating his point.
"Why do people in the scientific community want you to wear a face mask when you're out in public? Please, consider the following," Nye said.
Face masks, Nye explained, "prevent particles from getting into the air and then into your respiratory system."
"Blocking the movement of air is an old trick," Nye continued.
The beloved science TV personality first held a knitted scarf over his mouth and attempted to blow out a lit candle in front of him.
He explained that while the scarf blocks the movement of air around his neck and helps keep him warm, it only partially blocks the movement of air when he holds it to his mouth and exhales.
Next, Nye covered his mouth with what he described as a homemade face mask, constructed with two layers of cloth and a pipe cleaner to fit the bridge of one's nose. He then audibly exhaled and attempted to blow out the candle in front of him, to no avail — demonstrating the ability of the homemade face covering to act as a barrier.
"It blocks the movement of air very effectively," Nye said. "If you're wearing one of these, you're protecting yourself and those around you."
Nye followed up by posting an additional TikTok, where he demonstrated how an N95 respirator mask also effectively blocks particles of air.
"These are made to block particles in the medical environment and when you're out mowing the lawn," Nye said.
Nye concluded the video by urging viewers to wear face coverings not only to protect themselves, but also to protect people around them.
"The reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect you, sure," Nye said. "But the main reason why 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.
"Everybody, this is literally a matter of life or death," Nye continued. "So when you're out in public, please, wear a mask."
Nye's videos have since circulated beyond TikTok, and his message was shared by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Twitter, who wrote: "Listen to Bill Nye."
—Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 9, 2020
TikTok has become an increasingly popular platform for scientists, doctors, and other health experts to debunk and share information about COVID-19
Health and science experts have taken to the video-sharing app to spread vital information and debunk myths about wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and tips for making face coverings more comfortable to wear.
For example, in April, Dr. Karan Raj, a UK National Health Service doctor, made a trending TikTok that showed how latex gloves can facilitate (not prevent) the spread of germs if they're not worn correctly.
Recently, Canadian dentist Dr. Olivia Cui shared a hack for making a loose-fitting, surgical face mask fit better, and her TikTok has been viewed more than 3 million times.
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