Czech-made video gets CNN air time, inspires world to wear face masks

Petr Ludwig and Aneta Kernová's English-language #Masks4All video has now been featured on US news giant CNN

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 02.04.2020 12:35 (updated on 02.04.2020)

A 3.5-minute video made by Petr Ludwig and Aneta Kernová encouraging other countries to don face masks, like the Czech Republic has in efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus, has been getting air time around the globe.

Ludwig, the author of the 2012 worldwide bestseller The End of Procrastination: How to Stop Postponing and Live a Fulfilled Life, was an early proponent for wearing face masks during the coronavirus epidemic, and came up with the concept of making an educational video to show the rest of the world how the Czech Republic was successfully curbing the spread of the virus.

With local experts and friend Aneta Kernová, who narrates and stars in the video, the video was produced over the course of a few days and posted to YouTube over the weekend along with the hashtag #Masks4All.

“In the Czech Republic we all know that masks work, but in the rest of the world people laugh and even physically attack those who wear them,” Kernová told Novinky.cz.

“I was shocked to learn this. Sooner or later someone had to do something about it.”

A day after the video premiered, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted the video to Donald Trump, encouraging the US leader to make face masks mandatory. Babiš later said he has also sent the video to other world leaders.

On Monday, Trump acknowledged that a short-term obligation to wear face masks in public could also be adopted by the United States.

“We are not going to be wearing masks forever, but it could be for a short period of time after we get back into gear. I could see something like that happening for a period of time,” the US President said during a White House press briefing.

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Earlier this week, Jeremy Howard of the Washington Post praised the Czech Republic’s mandatory face mask requirements, citing the country as an example of what can be accomplished in the Western world.

And yesterday, Ludwig and Kernová’s video got airtime on US news giant CNN.

A CNN report on the mandatory use of face masks in some areas of Europe included footage from the #Masks4All video, along with local TV footage of Czech PM Andrej Babiš wearing a face mask during a press conference.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček posted screencaps of the CNN report to his Twitter profile:

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“The Czech Republic inspires other countries by its obligatory use of masks, which is once again noticed by the world media,” Havlíček writes.

On YouTube, the original video now has nearly four million views while a follow-up video featuring additional information from the Czech Health Minister has an additional 350,000.