Using a beer can, a measuring tape, spray cans full of starter fluid, and Styrofoam mannequin heads, the YouTube personality Uncle Rob made a popular video illustrating the power of face masks to stop aerosol spray at various distances.
The video is my hands-down favorite among the wide range of messaging tools individuals and organizations have used to persuade people to take steps to reduce risks to themselves and others amid COVID-19. A close second would be the widely shared “Stay Home, Save Lives” memes that my fellow Chicagoans made using a cardboard cutout of our mayor with a stern look on her face. Both use creativity and a generous dose of humor.
More pedestrian but equally important examples are the graphics showing how (and how not) to wear a mask, and color-coded maps of states showing progress controlling the disease. The World Health Organization produced a series of