With the help of a candle, some face masks and TikTok, Bill Nye the Science Guy is going viral with a demonstration of how to keep respiratory particles from escaping into the air.
“Why do people in the scientific community want you to wear a face mask when you are out in public?” Nye asks in his social video.
“Masks prevent particles from my respiratory system from getting into your respiratory system… Blocking the movement of air is an old trick.”
He starts with a plain ordinary scarf to demonstrate how it is used to block the wind from his neck, but when he covers his mouth with it, the scarf is not as effective. The candle gets blown out.
Next, he uses a homemade two-layer cotton mask that has a pipe cleaner in the top to conform it to his nose. The candle moves, but remains lit, showing that even a DIY sewing project can keep air and respiratory particles from escaping.
In a second video, he continues his experiment with an N-95 mask, and the candle remains unaffected.
“The reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect you, sure, but the main reason we want you to wear a mask to protect ME from YOU!” He exclaims towards the end of the video.
“This is literally a matter of life or death.”
Nye’s videos have been viewed over seven million times since he posted them on Wednesday, and were even shared by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter.