After the COVID-19 outbreak, it didn't take long for the pandemic to be weaponized by different political parties and their respective constituents as argument fodder for the 2020 election. And even though the results are in and Joe Biden has been named the President Elect, there are still tons of people clinging onto the mask vs anti-mask argument and solidifying further social divisions.
One of the biggest points of contention is the argument as to whether or not masks work, which was a prevailing narrative at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci had been accused of "flip flopping" on the subject of wearing masks. In March of 2020 he argued against the effectiveness of wearing cloth masks and stated N95's should be saved for frontline employees. Then about a month later in the beginning of April, Fauci had urged Americans to wear face coverings.
Matters were further complicated when the CDC and WHO were at odds as to the efficacy of wearing cloth masks, as they still are today. While the CDC urges individuals to don cloth face coverings in large public gatherings, the WHO maintains that cloth masks aren't effective tools in combating the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, and argues that a litany of other health problems can arise as a result of mask wearing.
Bill Nye, a well-known TV science personality with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, has created a TikTok video that is going viral on the popular social media platform. In the clip, he demonstrates the efficacy of wearing masks and has provided what many believe is stalwart evidence as to why masks are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The video touches on a lot of salient points. At first, he presents a map that indicates where the majority of Americans are wearing masks in the country. Then he presents a second graph that displays the number of cases around the country and highlights that the areas where folks are getting sicker have significantly higher cases.
He also combats the "perception that the virus can travel through the fibers of a mask" with the use of a pasta colander and a piece decorated with pegs and little wooden balls.
Folks think that the microvirus can still travel through the cloth of the mask, but Bill Nye argues that the virus is transmitted through spit and snot. The mask will trap the spit and snot, thus, offering up some decent protection from the virus itself.
Folks on TikTok praised the easy-to-understand visual definition and Nye's overall ability to clearly delineate the efficacy of masks in a way that almost anyone could understand. He even ended the video with a bit of a joke by putting on a mask of his own and remarking the folks could "hear [him] fine" as he speaks.
The science personality also went viral a few months ago to explain why racism doesn't make sense, biologically speaking. Again, he utilized TikTok to get the message across.