As the second anniversary of the global pandemic quickly approaches, cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise.
The international spread of the recently detected Omicron variant has further complicated matters, particularly in Europe.
Already in a fragile state, cases in Europe surpassed 75 million this weekend, resulting in several European countries enforcing stricter vaccine mandates.
Italy enforced the "super green pass" this past November, requiring either proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in order to be allowed entry in to restaurants, theaters, bars and stadiums.
Not surprisingly, healthcare and front facing workers will also be required to get vaccinated, as reported by The New York Times.
While Italy's vaccination rate is currently an encouraging 85%, there are still many who refuse to get the vaccine and help curb the spread of COVID-19.
This includes a dentist in the northern city of Biella, who made a foolhardy and truly strange attempt at trying to falsely obtain proof of vaccination by wearing a fake arm.
As reported by The Washing Post, nurse Filippa Bua could tell right away something was amiss when the dentist offered his arm to get jabbed.
"When I uncovered the arm, I felt skin that was cold and gummy, and the color was too light."
Bua first thought the man may have been an amputee and simply offered the wrong arm, until she lifted his shirt and saw he was wearing a covering with two fake arms attached to it.
"I understood immediately that the man was trying to avoid the vaccination by using a silicone prosthetic, into which he hoped that I would inject the drug, unaware."
Bua said the unnamed dentist, who had already been suspended from his work for not being vaccinated, openly admitted to the fact he was attempting to receive a "super green pass" without actually getting the shot.
The Washington Post also revealed after his attempted con was exposed, the man left the vaccination center without conflict.
"We stopped and reflected, and we understood that this wasn’t just a surreal situation, but a real attempt at fraud.’’
But Bua would later tell CNN processing this unique experience proved to be an emotional roller coaster for the experienced nurse.
"At the very beginning I was surprised, then I was angry, I felt professionally offended, he showed no respect for our intelligence and our profession."
"I would never expect such a thing in my life."
Twitter users also reacted to the story with a wide range of emotions.
Many were quick to share their amusement and utter disbelief the dentist thought his ludicrous attempt at fraud would be successful.
Others didn't find much humor in anyone, let alone a medical professional, going to such extreme lengths to evade a vaccination, rather than protect themself and others around them.
Also finding the incident no laughing matter were Alberto Cirio president of the Piedmont regional government, who called the incident "an offense to the region's health system" as reported by CNN.
Cirio went on to emphasize the Piedmont region was among "the first in Italy for vaccination capacity and for booster doses."
Cirio also released a joint statement with the Piedmont region's health councilor, stating:
"The case could be classified as 'ridiculous,' except that we are talking about a gesture of enormous gravity, unacceptable for the sacrifice that the whole community is paying for the pandemic."
The Washington Post reported the incident was subsequently passed on to prosecutors and the unnamed dentist could be facing criminal charges.