COVID office protocol: Green means hug me, blue means EW, GROSS
As workplaces turn to color-coded wristbands for risk tolerance, some suggestions.
Yellow means fist bump! Red means wave. Periwinkle means finger guns.
Yellow means fist bump! Red means wave. Periwinkle means finger guns. [ ROGELIO V. SOLIS | AP ]
Published Jan. 6, 2022|Updated Jan. 7, 2022

Maybe you have returned to an office setting or will be soon. This is a carefree experience not at all marred by the fact that the U.S. set a daily COVID-19 record of 1 million cases Monday. Here in Florida, state leaders say pandemic precautions are totes optional for loo-hoo-sers only, so it’s whatever.

Still, guidance for how to act at work is in order. It can be awkward to hold up garlic and a crucifix to people with whom you once shared amiable desk salads.

What to do? The internet was a-Twitter this week after The New York Times reported certain organizations have started using color-coded wristbands or pins to alert colleagues how to proceed in greeting each other. This clears up the question, “Should I softly embrace Roger near the printer?” which most of us have stayed up late wondering.

We don’t need to stop at hugs and handshakes. Here is a color coding system that covers much more ground. Feel free to pin it up around your workplace.

Related: Where to get a free COVID test in Tampa Bay

Green: Open to hugs.

Yellow: Elbow tap or fist bump.

Red: Wave.

Coral: Wave, but farther away.

Tangerine: Wave, but, like, from your house. Yeah, that’s good.

Lilac: Spirited high five and freeze-frame photo while jumping in the air.

Cyan: Top-secret handshake routine with lots of slaps and daps, a foot tap and a twerk at the end. Rehearsals are at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday behind the cafe.

Teal: Never touch me! Did we learn nothing from #MeToo?

Purple: Look, I’m not trying to be rude, but don’t make eye contact with me because it will make me want to crawl in a hole and die.

Orange: Please respect the fact that I am going through allergy testing to find out what things in my diet are making my skin inflamed and giving me this general sense of lethargy, and I suspect it’s probably gluten or coffee, but mostly I hope it’s not cheese.

Periwinkle: Finger guns.

Pink: I am pretty fun, actually! I just wish people got that! I’m nice! Really!

Beige: My stomach makes loud noises in meetings.

Gray: I am only pretending to be on the phone.

Rose: Sorry, I didn’t see you running for the elevator! (I saw you.)

Maroon: I’m doing my “own research.”

Gold: Fair warning, I might start talking to you about English regency romance novels.

White: I will share a low-stakes yet intriguing personal anecdote, such as the fact that I once rode a camel. It’s up to you to decide if it’s true.

Silver: I do not know why I’m this way, but I suspect it has something to do with my parents.

Puce: No, I have not seen Ted Lasso.

Chartreuse: I am following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means I have no idea what’s going on, either.

Heavy anxiety blanket the color of oatmeal pulled over head: Check back later.

Related: Read more columns from Stephanie Hayes

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