Mask Is a Double-edged Sword in the Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic

20 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Jianqing Wu

Jianqing Wu

End the Incurable Era/Healthier World

Ping Zha


Date Written: March 28, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has become out of control. To determine whether the lack of protection of lungs is a factor for the rapidly increasing infected population, we constructed a mask use model and analyzed how viral particles behavior. We found that mask can prevent viral particles from crossing it, reduce oxygen uptake efficiency, raise inlet air temperature, and increase resistance to breathing. We found that uninfected people should wear masks in any closed public building where viral particles from infected persons are expected to exist; that masks can dramatically aggravate disease severity on infected persons; that use of masks by infected persons is justified only if cross-infection and successive infections from external viral sources outweigh the expected harm; that people with unknown infection status should exercise due care. We further found at this point no fast measure can break the chain of infection, social distancing rule is insufficient, and wearing masks is the only effective remedy for interim protection. We found that World Health Organization’s rules on the use of masks are largely incorrect, and so are the rules of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. We predicted that those rules have dramatically increased severe infection incidence rate, and have made COVID disease of infected persons much severer. We personally noted that a big percent of Americans still do not wear masks in closed public areas, and leave the most lethal transmission route open. If masks are not correctly used, the U.S. and many Western nations will sustain the worst damages in all aspects from human life and economic activities.

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, mask use, disease severity, transmission route, lung damages, cold flu influenza

Suggested Citation

Wu, Jianqing and Zha, Ping, Mask Is a Double-edged Sword in the Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic (March 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Jianqing Wu (Contact Author)

End the Incurable Era/Healthier World ( email )

P.O. Box 689
Beltsville, MD 20704
United States


Ping Zha


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