In the United States, the "Covid-19 color code" is spreading in the world of work

CORONAVIRUS – No more hesitation. To kiss or not to kiss? A check elbow? Bow from afar? An aerial kiss? The way we greet each other has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. And even if the return to normal life is ripe with vaccination, many remain cautious about kissing or shaking hands. To avoid these moments of embarrassment, some American companies have implemented a “special Covid-19 color code.” The Wall Street Journal in particular investigated this phenomenon.

The concept is simple: at the entrance to an event, everyone can wear a bracelet, sticker, lace or other brightly colored accessory to indicate to the guests their relationship to the gestures of socialization. A display panel located at the entrance to the reception hall indicates precisely the color code to be respected, this being modeled on the traffic lights model.

Green, yellow, red

Green means you are open Has hugs (hug each other). This is the highest level of physical contact. Conversely, red means that it is forbidden to approach you within a meter of distance: “no thank you germs”. The yellows, more indecisive, are ambivalent. They can act red around some guests and green around others, but they will prefer elbow contact to greet their peers more.

The leaders of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce have decided to temporally classify the three types of behavior, “The greens are still in 2019”, “the yellows have been perplexed since 2020 ″, and finally“ the reds, we will wake them up in 2022. ”

Some even decide to wear all three colors and then adapt to the people they meet in the evening. “I look at what other people have on their wrist and depending on what they wear, I adapt: hug, handshake or hello from afar ”, testifies to the Wall Street Journal, Meghan Dunn, director of the Savannah Airport Commission, who had the opportunity to experiment with this system at a conference.

Some companies have also started to implement this “red-yellow-green” system, for the “well-being and respect” of people working face-to-face. And some even use them on more festive occasions, for weddings for example. But according to Brynn Swanson, wedding planner in Denver, “after a few drinks, everyone ends up kissing anyway,” she told reporters at the. Wall Street Journal.

A distance made to last?

After more than a year of social distancing, the fact of returning to offices, trade shows but also to weddings can frighten some. Our individual needs and desires are not the same after a long period of interrupted, or at least disrupted, socialization.

Is this transitory phase filled with hesitation bound to last? For Marie-Claire Villeval, economist and research director interviewed by Then24, last May, this is a scenario to consider.

For Fanny Parise, anthropologist and doctor in socio-anthropology contacted by Then24, this crisis will have an impact on our social relations and on our socialization rites. “The changes will be more important than we think: we have to relearn gestures and rites of greeting, but no one really knows what to do,” she explains. And to add: “we never really become the same person again after a generalized and collective crisis.” Response in the coming months.

See also on Le HuffPost: Why Macron does not want to accelerate deconfinement despite the favorable health situation


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