Professor demonstrates how masks work

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Carle School of Medicine professor Helen Nguyen stopped by WCIA for a mask demonstration.

“So if you have a mask, you see it stops right there,” she explained. “This side has a lot of liquid,” she flipped the mask over to show the amount. “This side here, there’s a little bit.”

She put food coloring in water and used a spray bottle to show how masks work.

“When we sneeze, we really expel the air, you know, so that tip of the squeeze bottle is about the size of our nose actually, and because we get so uncomfortable, we sneeze,” she said. “So we expel that much air at that speed.”

She showed that by spraying a dry erase board six feet away, without anything in front of her.

“You can see there are small droplets and big droplets, so it’s the small droplet will remain in the air longer in suspension, can travel to a greater distance,” she said.

The same goes for a sneeze or a cough, and it depends on the air circulation, too.

“It depends on the airflow inside the room,” she said. “These droplets can get to another person even further away from the 6 feet.”

She also showed what that looks like with a cloth mask.

“Okay, so it stopped right there, and if you go to this side here, it still has a little bit here,” she showed the mask. “Very similar to the other mask. The story remains exactly the same.”

And even though it’s something you’re not used to, it does stop the spread.

“The virus didn’t go anywhere yet, so it arrived here around January,” she said. “Now, we are August, almost September, it’s still there, because it’s silently, invisibly go everywhere, so it’s uncomfortable to wear a mask. There’s no question about it. When I teach, I have to wear a mask, too. You guys all wear masks now, and kids are going to be very uncomfortable when they have to do it. They play, they sweat and everything, but it’s necessary.”

When asked if she believes we can save lives by wearing masks: “Totally, 100%. Totally. This is the action from each one of us. We definitely reduce the spread of virus. There’s no question about it.”

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