Bye. Have a great day. See you later.

These words are embedded in the fabric of our daily interactions. They are words that tend to be taken for granted. We rarely think much about these daily platitudes. They go in one ear and out the other.

I’ve noticed a jarring shift in how people have been ending conversations recently. “Stay safe” has become one of the most common ways to send off a friend, acquaintance or loved one.

I find it quite dark. Would be great if we could just get back to “have a great day!”.

“Stay safe” shows how the fear of the virus and its consequences have begun to dominate our psyche. Over time, the influence of the virus has started to seep into benign conversations as a constant reminder of its lingering threat.

Stay safe, because if you’re not careful you could get sick.

Stay safe, because the virus has made it dangerous to go outside.

Stay safe, because after we leave this video call, I hope nothing happens to you. I won’t be able to tell until we call next.

Stay safe, because the world has gone mad. Toilet paper and canned food has flown off the shelves.

Stay safe, because if we don’t flatten the curve, we are going to be the next Italy, Iran, or China.

Stay safe, because if you hurt yourself or get sick for another reason, it’s a terrible time to be going to the hospital.

Stay safe, because I care about you. I hope everything will turn ok.

Stay safe.