Pardon me, but the start of this column will be delayed momentarily while it undergoes further tweaking.

Just one moment.

There, that’s better. Been a lot of tweaking going on recently at the Capitol as the Justice administration has been tinkering with the Harvard Global Health Institute COVID-19 risk level metric, which displays risk in four colors, from green (all clear, virus contained) to red (full-blown, fast-spreading).

Since its unveiling, Gov. Jim Justice has proudly displayed the state version of the metric as if it were some new innovation by West Virginia’s best minds and not just a cut-and-paste from Harvard Global.

From Justice’s perspective, the Harvard Global metric has one serious flaw: It tends to make too many West Virginia counties show up in scary yellow, orange and red colors, instead of a safe and reassuring green.

Admittedly, the standard of cases per 100,000 works in most of the U.S. but is a tough climb in many of West Virginia’s populationally challenged counties. Tiny Wirt County needs a multiplier of 17 to get to the 100,000 threshold. (Why West Virginia continues to maintain absurdly for small counties is a topic for another day.)

On Friday, Justice further tweaked things in small counties (with populations of less than 16,000), going from a seven-day rolling average to 14 days. Of course, like the cumulative average, the longer the time span the more peaks and surges are artificially smoothed out.

Also, with Harvard Global, a county must have fewer than one case per 100,000 to get the all-clear green ranking, but Justice initially fudged that from seven cases or fewer, then three or fewer with the explanation that the weaker standard lets people “feel better.”

Why not do away with all pretense of measuring risk and make the system four shades of green?

In a pandemic, the priority should be to keep people safe not make them feel good.

Another controversial fudge factor has been counting outbreaks in nursing homes and correctional facilities as one person and initially counting infected staffers at a 50% rate.

Clearly, that’s to avoid having a single outbreak in a nursing home or jail push a county into the dreaded orange or red level, where — horrors — high school football games would have to be canceled or postponed.

The problem with downplaying the so-called congregate setting spread is that it’s based on the false assumption that people who go into nursing homes or correctional facilities are there for the duration.

In reality, people go into nursing homes for brief periods of time to recover from surgeries or serious illnesses, not necessarily to count down the last sands in their hourglasses. Similarly, inmate populations — particularly those in regional jails — change frequently, with arrests, posting of bonds, completion of sentences and so forth.

To say we can count an outbreak as one person because these populations are self-contained is foolhardy.

Because of all these “tweaks,” the West Virginia version of the risk map frequently looks very different from the Harvard Global map, with a majority of counties in green instead of yellow and generally with only about half as many or fewer orange counties.

It might not be an accurate measure of risk, but it makes us feel good about ourselves and lets us play football on Fridays.