Over the last several months, I have actually seen a great many comparisons of materials that can be utilized to build homemade face masks to assist prevent the spread of COVID-19, but I have not seen anyone discuss making use of live snakes. I presume it is due to the fact that of this crucial omission that a guy boarded a UK bus using a live snake as his face covering.
It is worth considering that a good face mask needs to be made of a breathable material, and a live snake, sadly, is not that. Since this guy can not breathe through his snake, which looks to my non-expert eye like a ball python, he is breathing in and exhaling through the spaces around the snake’s body– which means his breath isn’t being filtered at all.
It is maybe also worth pointing out that live snakes have minds of their own and are unlikely to sit tight for very long. This particular snake, for example, decided it wanted to check out the bus’s hand rails, rendering the guy’s face uncovered totally.
Many snakes, including ball pythons, are carriers for salmonella, which lives happily in their guts and will make you simply unpleasant. This is why the Centers for Disease Control suggests you must always wash your hands after dealing with reptiles and amphibians. “Do not kiss or snuggle with reptiles and amphibians because this will increase your danger of getting sick,” the CDC alerts us. I know, amount to bummer.
Maybe you are wondering: what about snakeskin? That is, the product made from skinned snakes and tanned. Being costly, it’s not breathable either.
Here are some other animals I can not advise as face masks:
- Jellyfish. Not breathable, may sting you
- Felines. Not breathable, sharp at every end, will not sit tight.
- Sloths. Docile adequate to sit tight, however once again: not breathable.
- Tarantulas. A truly good statement piece for Halloween, however once again, neither breathable nor most likely to stay put.
When once again, on behalf of science reporters everywhere, I apologize that we did not clearly adequate interact that a live snake is not a feasible face mask that will safeguard against COVID-19 We will aim to do better in the future.