'Literally life and death': Bill Nye turns to TikTok to urge everyone to wear masks

Nye has some advice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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Bill Nye on the set of his Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World.

Eddy Chen/Netflix

In a series of TikTok videos, television personality and science commentator Bill Nye is talking about the importance of wearing a face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic

"Everybody, this is a matter, literally, of life and death," Nye said on Wednesday. "And when I use the word 'literally.' I mean literally a matter of life and death." 

Nye then urges everyone to wear a mask while in public and shows the difference between cloth face coverings, N95 masks and surgical masks by trying to blow out a candle through each mask.

"The reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect you, sure," Nye said. "But the main reason we want you to wear a mask is to protect me from you, and the particles from your respiratory system from getting into my respiratory system."

As of Thursday, the videos had racked up more than 1.2 million views and were trending on Twitter

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of other people, or be inhaled into the lungs.The CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering while in public, especially when other social distancing measures can't be practiced, to avoid spreading the coronavirus.