ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Masks are required when New Mexicans go into public settings. However, some people don’t see the point in wearing them. The museum educator at the National Museum of Nuclear History & Science, David Gibson demonstrates how masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
David explains that the virus is extremely small, about .12 microns to about .15 microns, and that the virus is able to spread through droplets. He demonstrates this by using beads to represent the virus while a sheet of wire represents a mask.
If you were to use a microscope to view a mask, you’d be able to see very small holes, which allow us to breathe through it. People are skeptical of how well a mask can protect against the virus as the small particles seemingly would be able to transfer through the mask’s holes.
David explains that the virus doesn’t travel by itself as it is transferred through droplets when people sneeze, cough, or speak. Using slime as a representation of droplets, David shows that the slime cannot pass through the sheet of wire depicting that the virus too has difficulty spreading when obstructed by a mask.
The representation also shows that the slime accumulates on the wire sheet, showing that it would also be easy to transfer the virus by handling your mask and touching other objects which initially prevented its spread. For more science demonstrations and experiments, visit the National Museum of Nuclear History & Science website, Facebook page, Instagram page, and YouTube channel.