Bill Nye has always been great at explaining science to children. But since the pandemic started he’s faced his greatest challenge: explaining science to people who refuse to wear masks. Over the summer, he unloaded on “skeptics” who throw a hissy fit over having to put a piece of cloth over the mouth so they don’t transmit a highly contagious disease. He even recorded a very popular TikTok video, explaining why masks work. Now he’s at it again — because a large chunk of America still, almost a year in, refuses to listen.
Right now, new cases and deaths are soaring across the country — and we haven’t even felt the post-Thanksgiving travel bump yet. So Nye, a scholar and one of the great bow-tie enthusiasts, went back to the drawing board, recording another TikTok video in which he, again, patiently explains why masks really do slow the spread.
‘This is not that hard to understand, everybody’ — Bill Nye is back on TikTok to drop more knowledge about masks and COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/XozmrelfFA
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 5, 2020
After a little introductory joke about how difficult it is to speak clearly when wearing a mask, he gets to the business at hand: debunking the skeptics. He begins by whipping out a map of the United States, festooned with red marks over the parts of the nation that do generally wear masks — the two coasts, bits of the south, cities and their surrounding areas. He then places a translucent sheet over top of it, this one with black marks designating places where cases are spiking. The areas do not have much overlap. Ergo, where people are wearing masks, there’s less COVID-19. Where they aren’t, there’s more.
That’s simple enough to understand, but Nye tackled one other issue: the belief that the virus can travel through the fibers of a mask. But, he explains, that’s not how viruses travel. They travel, he says, “in driplets of spit and snot,” so they get tangled in the dense fibers of a mask. Nye even takes out a tablet peppered with pegs, then places a ball, representing a smidgeon of the virus, getting trapped. Think of it like the Price is Right game Plinko, only an understanding of this could save lives.
On TikTok, Nye’s latest anti-anti-masker video has been a sensation, amassing millions of likes and hundreds of thousands of shares. Can the youth save our nation by telling their elders to stop being a baby and put a piece of cloth over their mouth like a grown-up? We’ll have plenty of time to find out now that we’ve learned our outgoing president screwed up a deal with Pfizer that will slow down vaccine distribution in America. But at least there’s a good chunk of the nation that’s been listening to Bill Nye the Science Guy from the start.