On Monday, October 12, four Swiss guards tested positive for COVID-19 marking the virus penetration into the Vatican. All four of them went into isolation after experiencing multiple symptoms. There was already speculation that infection could enter the Vatican considering the rise in figures in entire Italy. The latest incident of the Swiss guards finally justifies the nightmare. The guards are the part of the army that is doing the ceremonial guard for the longest time. Their duty takes place mostly during all the papal Masses. Apart from invigilating the masses, they are also responsible for securing the gates of the Chapel. Most importantly, their priority is the protection of the Pope, who is presently 83-years old.
While the four Swiss guards tested positive, tracing people who came close to them is still not complete. The guards are isolating in the same area as the other three residents of the Vatican who have also tested COVID positive. Apart from that, over ten people of the Holy See who contracted the infection during the first wave. Despite all the mess and rise in positive cases around him, Pope Francis was again out without a mask. Moreover, Cardinal George Pell, who was seen entering The Pope’s private studio, was without a mask. Let’s not forget to mention the photographer and Pell’s secretary, who did not have a mask on his face either.
There is a lot of ignorance, even after four Swiss guards tested positive.
Francis has lost a significant part of the lungs due to some disease quite early in life. Therefore, such ignorance of the spreading virus is not something to be proud of. People resent his casual attitude, especially when he came without a mask to address his general audience on Wednesday, October 14. The only difference this time was that the meeting took place indoors instead of outdoors. However, Francis was freely roaming around and greeting all his clerics. Not just him, but neither of his bodyguards was wearing masks either. However, the general audience attending the event were majorly wearing masks.
According to the latest news, the surge in the number of COVID positive cases in Italy is quite sharp. Moreover, the Lazio area surrounding the Vatican is one of the worst-hit contentment zones. Now that the country is going through a second wave of the outbreak, the number of people in Lazio hospitals exceeds all other places. There are over 900 people affected in a day, including 69 people who are in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit.)
It was just last week that amendments to COVID rules were made. This includes the mandatory wearing of masks at all places. Despite that, the Pope not wearing it is a shame. However, the Vatican still does not want to comment or answer any question regarding this ignorance issue. It seems that Francis and his close aides, including bodyguards, are against the COVID mask-wearing policy.