- Bethany, everything's different now.
- Dude, we're not in a kitchen anymore.
Can I take this off, do you think it's okay?
- Well, I feel close to you, yet so far we, got, I think, I think mother nature is adequate ventilation.
I think we're good.
(Bethany makes technology sound effects) - It's surprisingly feels weird though.
I'm gonna be honest.
- To not have a mask?
- It feels like you're in a car and you're like, can I take my seatbelt off?
And I'm like, usually you can't.
(enthusiastic music) - There's a lot of great studies out there actually proving that masks work.
(intense action music) So basically as far as we know, coronavirus spreads in a similar fashion to other respiratory virus spreads by droplets.
So if you were coughing, sneezing, even shouting, screaming, rapping, yodeling, all these things, you're going to release very small droplets that could have the actual virus in it, assuming you're infected.
And the reason this happens is because one of the key places that SARS-CoV-2 (that's the virus which causes COVID-19) replicates is in your upper respiratory system.
(music intensifies) It can hang out up there.
So anytime you're doing these activities, you might be expelling little viral particles.
The point of the mask is to basically create a filter so they don't travel that far away from you, potentially infecting somebody else.
That's what it comes down to.
It's literally a physical barrier.
I compare that to wearing a helmet.
The helmet is a physical concept; You're protecting your head.
In the same way, the mask is a physical concept, it's a barrier that's meant to prevent the transmission from your nose and your mouth, protecting other people if you're infected, and also potentially protecting you as well.
The mask alone is not everything.
It also comes down to physical distancing also.
So you do it all together, and those droplets will not be running around.
Can you please tell me, how have Lulu and Nico been when it comes to actually keeping a mask on, wearing it right, not touching it and not fidgeting with it.
Like, are they all stars?
Or are they struggling?
- It's, I mean, it's been challenging.
So they were fighting us tooth and nail about masks for like two weeks.
So their favorite show that they watch right now is Hello, Ninja.
- Hello, Ninja.
(upbeat music) The ninjas have arrived!
- [Bethany] It's two kids, and they turn into ninjas when they have to solve a problem.
And they have a mask on, so- - Are you sure they're not, like, robbing a bank?
- One day.
We were like, you know what?
The ninjas, they wear masks and they're not complaining.
And they're getting a lot done.
They're solving problems.
And they save Pretzel the cat all the time.
(meowing) And that clicked so hard.
And they were like, we're ninjas.
And they put the masks on.
And now we have mask-wearing.
(sharp violin music) - [Man] I will say, though, you want to make sure your mask actually has a good seal around your face.
And you shouldn't be able to actually feel air if you were to go (blows).
Try blowing out a candle while wearing a mask, you won't be able to do it.
And if you can, your mask either has a hole in it, - You need a different mask.
- Or you're not wearing a mask.
- This is how I like to wear my mask.
- Which is not correct.
That's a chin strap.
- Why I can't get COVID in my chin?
Is that, Oh, wait, how about this?
I don't understand that.
Every time I see somebody wearing their mask very confidently like this, I take that as a sign of alien life, (mysterious sci-fi music) because maybe that's where their mucus membrane lies, is in their chin, right?
Maybe their nose and their mouth is pretty dry.
And this is where the coronavirus would enter.
So I'm not trying to be biased.
I'm just like, what planet are you from, Earth?
Put your mask on.
- Wearing a mask is not only perfectly safe, but it's actually going to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
So that's what it comes down to.
Lot of great videos out there on the internet.
A lot of great articles, just make sure you know your source and you know, it's a valid one that's evidence based.
And you're probably like, hey, can you throw me one that you personally think is awesome?
And I'll be like, yeah, you should check out.
It's Okay to Be Smart, hosted by our very good friend Joe Hanson.
- [Joe] Wait.
Did I hear my name?
Are you guys talking about me out there?
- We sure are.
Joe, it is good to see you.
It's good to see you too.
I mean, this is how we see everybody today, through screens and cameras, right?
- Joe, I need to borrow your expertise.
We know that masks work.
We know they save lives, but I want to get into the science of it so we can debunk some mask myths because they're everywhere.
Are you game?
- Let's do it.
Let's get some mask science and some mask truth out there so people can stay safe.
- Can I start off the top with, "wearing a mask is going to mess with your oxygen and CO2 levels."
They're like, "Hey, I'm going to get hypercapnic.
I'm going to get too much CO2 in my blood because I'm not going to be able to blow it off.
Or my oxygen levels are going to go really low," which is why people out there are afraid of wearing them.
- So you remember how coronavirus, uh, those, those viral particles are transmitted inside respiratory droplets.
Those are still really small, but we know that masks stop those.
A CO2 molecule or an oxygen molecule is 10,000 times smaller than the droplets that coronavirus travels in when an infected person breathes them out.
So a mask is letting those tiny, tiny gas molecules through with absolutely no problem.
I mean, they are beyond microscopic, nothing to worry about when it comes to getting enough oxygen in our bodies.
And we know this because surgeons, doctors, nurses, wear masks for hours, sometimes full work shifts, and they've hooked themselves up to oxygen monitors, you know, expensive medical equipment.
And they're doing just fine.
- I hear you.
I bring up the doctors and surgeons, the graffiti artists, the construction workers, people who are wearing N-95s 12 hours a day, five to seven days a week.
And they're fine, but thank you for slapping that one in the face.
Here's another mask myth: This mismatch, I can't even wrap my head around because it doesn't make sense to me, but the humidity in the mask and the trapping of germs and particles in a mass can cause pneumonia, and this will make us all sick.
- There's no reason to think that you should get some other communicable respiratory disease from wearing a piece of fabric or a surgical mask in front of your face.
I mean, you know, it's important to make sure that we're wearing clean masks, that you're taking off and you're washing it regularly, but you're not gonna get toxic mold and pneumonia or anything like that from your mask.
In fact, the mask is probably going to help you even more from getting those other respiratory diseases.
- Like, I want to talk, I want to talk about something else about asymptomatic spread.
I just kind of wanted to get your, your thoughts about how to approach people who don't have any symptoms and say, you know what, I'm fine.
I'm not coughing up those droplets.
I'm all good.
I don't need to wear a mask.
- We hear this word asymptomatic, but that can mean you'll never show symptoms the entire time that you have that virus replicating and leaving your body, Or it could be that you're pre-symptomatic, that you will show symptoms within the next couple of weeks of some kind of sickness, but you're actively making virus and breathing it out into the world.
You just can't tell yet.
We know there's a lot more positive cases out there than the ones that we have caught.
And that can only mean that there are people out there transmitting this virus that don't know they have it.
There's some period where you have the virus, it catches on in your body.
It enters your cells.
It starts replicating and breaking out of those cells, spewing virus out into the world before they know they have it.
So out of an abundance of caution, and working for the people around us to keep them safe, we have to take into account that, you know what, I could be asymptomatic, and the person next to me could be asymptomatic and transmitting the virus.
I sure want them to be wearing a mask.
Well, they think the same thing about me.
That is really important when it comes to this idea of asymptomatic spread.
- This isn't necessarily a myth.
So I do also hear a lot of resistance towards wearing masks, and not necessarily because of the science, but because it's their autonomy and liberty.
What do you say to these people?
- What I think about what has made humans special, going all the way back to the beginning of our species history, when I think like a scientist and I think like a biologist, it is our cooperation, and the fact that we have looked out for our communities and our groups and worked together to solve problems.
Being an individual and, and taking care of yourself, you know, that's important, but what has made us work, and what has helped us reach this amazing existence that we have today in the world is working together.
And if we remember that, and remember that this won't last forever, I think, I hope that people will change their perspective and see the value in coming together and working for a greater good.
I mean, I don't, I don't think that's like a dream or a pie in the sky thing.
I think it's really something that makes humans special.
- Thank you, by the way, for actually sitting down and breaking down some of the science.
- Thanks for having me.
- I get asked often, who shouldn't be wearing a mask?
Is there anyone that is exempt from wearing a mask?
And from our vantage point, it's children under the age of two who shouldn't be wearing a mask, because it can pose a suffocation or choking hazard.
They also aren't able to manage the mask like older kids can; they're going to touch it; they might shove it in their mouth.
Kids above the age of two in that two to five range, I hear different stories from parents.
And again, it really depends on your child.
Any of your child's able to wear a mask, keep it on.
I would say, assess that risk.
And guess what?
If you have a child who can't wear a mask, you just might have to mitigate the risk in another way.
- They might have to physically distance more.
Maybe they won't be able to go out in certain places.
- Some kids have sensory issues, and maybe wearing a mask is more problematic for them than not wearing a mask.
That's when you check in with your child's medical team, their pediatrician, their occupational therapist, talk about mask wearing with them, because there's a good likelihood that you could figure out how your child can wear a mask.
And if there isn't, you mitigate it in other ways.
We, we are isolated.
We stay at home, we play in the yard, and you stay at home.
That's how we mitigate the risk at our house.
Again, you have to do what works best for your family, and get good advice and support around it.
- Don't just make an assumption and not wear a mask.
Just check in with your doctor.
- Thinking it through and collaboration.
That's my soap box: collaboration between families and medical communities.
- I'm kind of picturing like the PBS rainbow for like this right now.
Collaboration is key.
- Daniel tiger has saved the day when it comes to this.
I mean, the germs episode, we've watched that.
- If he was a real person, he would off- he would be in so many scandals, by the way, rocking a red hoodie and no pants.
- And don't get me started on tigers that eat vegetables.
I mean, that's just a nature episode we have to talk about.
- Joe, that's the vegan tiger.
- The woke vegan tiger in like, the red hoodie, who's too cool for pants.
(techno music) (serene PBS jingle)