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Bill Nye uses household props, TikTok to illustrate how masks work

In a viral TikTok video, Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' demonstrates why people should wear a mask to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

WASHINGTON — Bill Nye "The Science Guy" has been busy on TikTok recently informing the masses about science and proven ways to help keep individuals from spreading the coronavirus.

In his latest viral video, he uses everyday household items like a strainer and a toy car to demonstrate how masks work to help slow the spread of the virus that has killed more than 286,000 Americans this year.

The caption of his TikTok, which has more than 14 million views, reads, "I don’t know who needs to hear this but... #masks work. Wear one. Carry on..."

His video starts with maps showing the places in the United States where mask-wearing is at a minimum and how those same places have the highest rates of coronavirus infections.

“I hope you can see, the fewer the masks, the more the sick,” he explains. 

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He then pulls out a strainer and explains the wrong perception people have about the virus traveling through the fibers of a mask. He illustrates by poking a stick with a red dot at the end through a hole in the strainer. However, that's not how it works.

A virus doesn't travel alone, he explained. It travels in droplets of "spit and snot."

Nye used a pegboard and balls representing snot to demonstrate how it really works in his viral video. He explains that the mask fibers are tangled, like the pegboard, so the virus isn't able to easily make its way through the barrier.

“This is not that hard to understand, everybody,” he said. “That’s why we have rules about wearing a mask.”

He ended his video explaining rules. He grabbed a small fake road and toy cars saying there are rules about which side of the road to drive on so that there isn't a crash. 

"Everyone, please, wear a mask," he concluded while putting on a mask. "Thank you."

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 15 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide on Wednesday, there are more than 68 million confirmed cases with more than 1.5 million deaths.

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