First, Tom Hanks appeared on several television shows and told everyone they should be wearing masks. Now, Bill Nye the Science Guy, the legend, the man responsible for so many substitute teachers' science class lessons, is here on TikTok to tell you to wear masks. That's right.
It's not just for dance challenges and lip syncs. It's also for science. In a new short show on his recently active TikTok page called "Consider the Following with Bill Nye," everyone's favorite TV scientist explains why we should all wear masks.
He starts the video by very calmly explaining that face masks function to prevent your own respiratory particles from getting into the air and then into someone else's respiratory system. "Blocking the movement is an old trick," he continues, explaining how scarves work because they block the movement of cold air to your neck.
Using the scarf over his face, he demonstrates that while it's a good scarf, it's ineffective as a face covering. He does this by putting the scarf over his face and then blowing out a candle. He blows the flame out easily. Then, he tries the same thing with a cloth face mask.
The cloth mask very effectively blocks the movement of air; he cannot blow out the candle while wearing the face mask, no matter how hard he tries. In part two of the video, he repeats the candle demonstration with an N95 mask and cannot blow it out.
"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 calms down a bit and 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. So when you're out in public, please wear a mask!"
The two parts of his video have been viewed millions of times on TikTok and have gone viral on Twitter as well. It's clear that Bill Nye is using his massive platform to try and reach as many people as possible with the important message that we should all wear masks when out in public.
Bill Nye has always been animated, but you can hear the urgency and frustration in his voice in this video. COVID-19 is no joke and masks have been proven to help.
According to the CDC, the U.S. has had over three million total cases of COVID-19 and 132,056 total deaths from the virus. Many states are seeing surges in cases due to re-opening too soon.
The CDC agrees that wearing even a simple cloth face mask can prevent the spread of the virus. Even as more evidence emerges of the effectiveness of masks, there are many who refuse to wear one because they see it as a violation of their freedom or they think it looks "silly."
Experts have said that if more Americans wore masks, the spread of the virus would slow. This is not new information. But it's information that some people refuse to hear. Bill Nye is trying to get through to those people, and I, for one, hope he does.