Bill Nye is back on TikTok — and this time, he’s explaining why masks work. Again.
For a brief period on TikTok, a series of videos building off of one another about the efficacy of masks in inhibiting the spread of the deadly virus kept going viral. Some people would post videos forcing masks under spigots of water to prove that they were or weren’t effective — an even greater slew of videos made fun of those types of videos by putting masks in front of power washers and through other incomprehensibly unlikely scenarios to show that noses aren’t, well, fountains of water.
But now, Bill Nye, everyone’s favorite scientist (or at least, every millennial’s favorite scientist) has spoken on the efficacy of masks — and he threw down about all of the misinformation that surrounds them and why they work. He probably didn’t think he’d have to make another one of these videos, after a video he posted in the summer of him wearing a mask and trying to blow out a candle went viral in an effort to explain just how much droplets are held back by masks, but here we are.
The new video, which has received nearly 4 million likes on the app, starts at first by laying out the evidence: mass mask-wearing compliance is linked to far-fewer cases of COVID-19 per region. Nye demonstrates this by showing two maps: one of which shows where mask-wearing is rampant (and where it isn’t) and where COVID-19 cases have exploded (and where they have done less so) and overlaying the maps over each other. The correlation between mask-wearing and lower COVID-19 cases is extremely clear in those maps.
He then brings up a common misconception and point of misinformation — that COVID particulates can travel through the fibers of a mask — and using his trademark show-and-tell use of props and sound effects. He pulls out a pasta colander, a rubber ball, and corrugated cardboard to show how COVID particulate gets trapped in mask fibers.
“This is not that hard to understand, everybody. This is why we have rules about wearing a mask,” he says, in his trademark exasperation and love of science. But, seriously. This is getting annoying. Put the mask on.