The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a new Pandemic-Era accessory. No, it’s not a facial mask, glove, piece of protective eyewear, work-from-home-kit, or even an “I’ve Been Vaccinated” button. It is a colored bracelet that signals one’s current boundaries regarding mingling in the time of the coronavirus.
Modeled on traffic lights, a red band means “no contact” with “no exceptions.” A yellow one essentially means “elbow bumps only.” A person sporting a green wristband is saying: “hugs welcome.”
Office managers, convention and wedding planners, and party hosts are among those distributing the color-coded wristbands, which are designed to signal preferences without awkward conversations.
Like others of its kind, the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce in Virginia has restarted its in-person business networking events. The CCOC is using the color-coded bands. Danielle Fitz-Hugh, the chamber’s president, noted that the reds usually just stand off to the side of the room, while “the greens are just ready to party.”
Since the wristbands can get covered up by long sleeves, leaving folks staring at others’ wrists trying to figure out their level of comfort with human interaction, color-coded lanyards and stickers are now also becoming popular. In any case, the colors mean the same thing across the various accessories. The following is a more literal—and accurate-- explanation of their meanings:
Red: “Stay far away from me you cretinous leper! People make me sick!”
Yellow: “I chose this band/sticker because I’m yellow-bellied, too timid to commit to either red or green.”
Green: “Let’s do it on the table right now!”
Suffice it to say, greens may paint the town red, while reds may, deep down, be green with envy.
But what of other colors? Are more hues needed?
Perhaps blue could indicate a person who has lost the will to live during the endless pandemic and governments’ tyrannical response to same. Not that anyone would care, because we all know that blue lives don’t matter.
Red and yellow make orange, so orange could indicate someone who is on the border between no human contact whatsoever and an elbow bump. Maybe you could give that person an “air elbow bump” from 10 or 12 feet away.
It is no longer enough to virtue-signal. We must now also overtly indicate our tolerance for all things human.
Color me sad.