Bring back the white coats

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - RACHAEL KELLY

Have we, as a na­tion, reached Peak Flu­oro?

It’s some­thing I’ve been pon­der­ing for quite some time.

Long gone are the days where you would ar­rive at an event and be di­rected to a carpark by re­tired men, full of a lit­tle bit of im­por­tance be­cause they’re wear­ing crisp white coats. Now it seems, ev­ery man and his dog is don­ning a flu­oro vest in­stead, all in the name of safety.

Gag­gles of school kids roam our foot­paths in vests that are far too big for them, safe from kid­nap­pers, pen­sion­ers that can’t drive their mo­bil­ity scoot­ers and roam­ing ra­bid dogs, thanks to their vests.

Truck driv­ers and con­trac­tors wear tops em­bla­zoned with yel­low or or­ange stripes, safe in the knowl­edge that should a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter oc­cur while they’re in their cab, their flu­oro vests will keep them safe.

It used to be that only emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel and Re­ally Im­por­tant Peo­ple wore flu­oro vests, so they would stand out.

John Key looks pretty fetch­ing in flu­oro - but he doesn’t make a habit of wear­ing it, and good on him for that, I say.

I bet you Kaik­oura is crawl­ing with flu­oro at the mo­ment, so much so that the peo­ple that aren’t wear­ing it will be the ones that stand out.

Christchurch should be happy that it’s one fash­ion dis­as­ter it’s slowly put­ting be­hind it.

Noth­ing goes with flu­oro ex­cept black, and you can’t mix your flu­o­ros to­gether with­out look­ing like you’re in a Wham! video from 1984. Back then, ev­ery­thing came in flu­oro - hair scrunchies, shoe laces, bike shorts and spokey dokeys, and noth­ing good came of it.

War­riors who get their bikes out at the weekend should avoid it at all costs. Flu­oro, ly­cra and mid­dle-age love han­dles aren’t a good match, no mat­ter how much you need to be safe, be seen.

Which has me won­der­ing whether wear­ing the eye-as­sault­ing yel­low, or­ange, green or pink has saved anyone in a lifethreat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion? Or is flu­oro ac­tu­ally plac­ing us in danger?

We’re wired so that our bod­ies gen­er­ally travel in the direc­tion we’re look­ing. But if I was crash­ing my car and a flu­oro vest caught my eye - is it pos­si­ble that in my mo­ment of panic I might travel to­wards it in­stead?

Is your stop/go man at the road­works in more danger be­cause he’s wear­ing a yel­low vest?

My dad is a sparky and he’s so old school he re­fuses to wear flu­oro. Then again, he’s work­ing in an in­dus­try where he’s meant to pass a lad­der-safety course now, de­spite the fact he’s been climb­ing them for 40-odd years and as far as I know he’s never fallen off one.

Re­bel­lious, stub­born, or just scared it’ll clash with his over­alls?

Do we need so much flu­oro in our lives? Or have we be­come too cau­tious in a world where there’s a fo­cus on health and safety when we’re al­ready healthy and safe?

How did we sur­vive with­out it? And could we do it again?

We’re sat­u­rated in a world of flu­oro - maybe we should bring back the white coats in­stead.

DAVID WETHY

John Key looks pretty fetch­ing in flu­oro - but he doesn’t make a habit of wear­ing it.

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