The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to devastate many across the globe. Although wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of infecting your closest neighbor, having knowledge of the best mask to wear remains a matter of discussion to many.
Gavin free gave us a wide visual platform for basing our arguments when he posted on YouTube a video in slow motion in early July demonstrating how well face masks work by slowing the speed at which diseases spread. To stamp authority into his video, he got Dr. Anthony to comment on his humbling slow-motion experiment.
Gavin Free filmed himself while coughing, sneezing, and speaking
Despite the many months we have lived with the global pandemic, we still have a lot of people who refuse to wear their face masks. Although scientists have come with diverse demonstratable facts to prove that face masks are helpful weapons towards the fight against COVID-19, the anti-facemask believers do not seem to be moved. Visuals provide a better convincing ground compared to word of mouth.
Human beings tend to get visual, something that controls our feelings/emotions in a wide way. But when the case involves a virus that you cannot see with your naked eye, it gets harder rolling your head into every science proof available and the way all these things work.
Gavin stated in the video, “I will use two methods in this video to help see into the situation visually. One video will be in slow motion, while the other is going to be gross.”
Gavin took his video in an ultra-backlit room and set his camera in slow motion mode
The purpose of this was to capture every particle from his mouth and to feature it in a more apparent way. He filmed himself sneezing, coughing, and counting 1,2,3,4. In one video, he had his mask on while in the other he didn’t have his mask on.
Lastly, Gavin shared his YouTube video with doctor Anthony Fauci and requested a personal opinion
‘I believe what you have shown is a graphically beautiful demo showing why it is necessary to wear masks,” said Dr. Anthony as the two watched the video together. “the main reason being, you are speaking the same things and only a very thin air is coming out of the mask.”
Currently, we know at least 40-45% of those infected do not show any symptoms, yet they contain the virus inside the nasopharynx. Beyond this, we know that a large proportion of infections are passed from somebody who is not showing any symptoms.’ Dr. Anthony explained in the video.
The CDC, in a strong way, continually advises the public to wear face masks as a preventive measure against the transmission of SARS-COV-2, which is the virus behind COVID-19 infections.
On July 14 2020, CDC boss Dr. Robert was quoted in a press statement saying, “Cloth masks are part of powerful tools available to us for slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19 virus – in particular when everyone in a community setting makes use of it.”
Even though the recommendations continue to receive some skepticism from the general public, scientists continue to be firm in showing evidence that masks work. Sneezes and coughs can rarely be seen through the naked eye – but when oral expulsions travel in a UV light, the expulsions become visible.
The demonstration seen in the slow-motion video was done using Schieren imaging in combination with a slow-motion camera set at an average speed of 250 frames each second. The method is used to detect how air flows through varying temperature and density – just like the way light appears in a distorted and wavering manner above our roads during the hot summer period.
The visualizations show what happens when we are without a mask – when we cough, sneeze, breathe and speak, the air is expelled directly before us at varying speeds and distances. A virus present in a persons’ breath could travel up to two meters, dependent on what type of expulsion the person performed.
‘People incorrectly think that you only transmit the virus when you cough or sneeze over somebody. What people fail to appreciate is the fact that through speaking even if it means slow speech, or singing, which has worse results, – the particles from your mouth can hang on into the air for some time,’ added the doctor.
Masks slow down the speed of air, thereby redirecting the COVID-19 virus
When one properly wears their mask, they work against the speed and direction of the air expelled from our mouth and nose, lowering the possibilities of virus transmission.
First, the mask is a great way to slow down the air’s speed, which denies the virus the ability to travel to a wider distance. As a result, the virus falls at barely thirty centimeters. Beyond this, the air expelled is redirected to the top part and bottom part of your mask in an upward and downward motion.
This, according to the video, significantly reduced the air’s momentum.
The bottom line
The evidence that face masks play an important part in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 continues to grow strong daily. The science by which masks work is really simple through capturing droplets that contain the virus once we emit them through speech, cough, or sneezing. Even though their working principle is simple, their importance in the containment of the virus cannot be ignored. Experts advise masks work best when the whole community agrees to wear them.