Since the coronavirus pandemic was announced back in March, one of the most highly debated topics has been the benefit of wearing a face mask.
While some countries have made face masks compulsory, others have allowed the public to decide if they want to wear one.
Now, one scientist has performed two simple science experiments to show the benefits of wearing a face mask.
Dr Rich Davies, Clinical Microbiology Lab Director at Providence Sacred Heart, shared his findings on Twitter, writing: “What does a mask do? Blocks respiratory droplets coming from your mouth and throat.”
In the first experiment, Dr Davies sneezed, sang, talked and coughed towards an agar culture plate both with and without a mask.
The results revealed that wearing a mask stopped almost all respiratory droplets from reaching the agar plate.
However, the plates used in the tests without a mask told a very different story, and were absolutely covered in bacteria colonies.
In the second experiment, Dr Davies tested just how far respiratory droplets could travel both with and without a mask.
He said: “I set open bacteria culture plates 2, 4 and 6 feet away and coughed (hard) for ~15s. I repeated this without a mask.
“As seen by number of bacteria colonies, droplets mostly landed <6 ft, but a mask blocked nearly all of them.”
Dr Davies admits that his sample size of one means his results shouldn’t be used as a model for the spread of coronavirus.
However, he added: “But colonies of normal bacteria from my mouth/throat show the spread of large respiratory droplets, like the kind we think mostly spread #COVID19, and how a mask can block them!”