Please do not use a live snake as your face mask

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Over the last several months, I have seen a great many comparisons of fabrics that can be used to construct homemade face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but I have not seen anyone discuss the use of live snakes. I assume it is because of this crucial omission that a man boarded a UK bus using a live snake as his face covering.

Snakes are adorable, so I understand the temptation. However, it is worth considering that a good face mask needs to be made of a breathable material, and a live snake, unfortunately, is not that. Because this man cannot breathe through his snake, which looks to my non-expert eye like a ball python, he is inhaling and exhaling through the gaps around the snake’s body — which means his breath isn’t…

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