There is talk amongst the Dogs in the Park that the Coffee Shop may soon reopen, I say.
Indeed, says the Owner, let us go there as soon as I have made my Face Mask.
Seriously? I say. Just for a coffee? I say.
Seriously, says the Owner. The Moral Dog can clear the way, and I will wear a Mask.
You are Mad, I say.
The Moral Dog does not understand about coffee, says the Owner, fiddling with some floral material and a piece of elastic.
What are those? I ask.
They are a Face Mask, says the Owner.
They look like Pants, I say.
They were Pants, says the Owner, they are now a Face Mask. I learned it on the internet.
How do we know that it is safe? I ask.
I boiled them, says the Owner.
I meant from the Covid, not from the Pants, I say.
We do not know that it is Safe, says the Owner. Nothing is safe in life. Everything involves levels of risk. We just have to make sure that we understand the levels and can accept them.
I cannot imagine why the Prime Minister would allow the Coffee Shop to open whilst Covid exists, I say. Surely it is safer to stay at home.
It is safer in terms of not getting Covid, says the Owner, but Covid will exist for a very long time yet. Covid is not the only risk we take when we live or do not live our lives. If we all stay at home until there is no risk, then the world will stop and we will all Fall Off.
I had not realised that we could fall off the world, I say. I do not like the look of Space, I say. I would not like to fall there, particularly since I learned about Daleks.
It is a metaphor, says the Owner. I mean that if the world does not live it will fade and die.
That is obvious, I say, given the Daleks. Have you considered glue? I ask, or Very Heavy Boots.
We would not literally fall into Space, says the Owner, but if the world stops producing anything it cannot sustain us all. Everything will grind to a halt and we will be like plants without sun, withering in the Winter of our own Fearfulness. Our world thrives in the face of risk. We manage risk. That is how we are, both Persons and Moral Dogs.
How do we manage risk? I ask.
All the time, says the Owner. When we walk in a storm, when we cross the road, when we travel on the underground, when we sail our boat in a choppy sea, when we love, when we try, when we hope, when we jump, when we watch a meteor storm…
You are not on Britain’s Got Talent, I say, please do not sing as well.
I am trying to say we each approach risk according to our own personalities, hopes and fears, says the Owner. We are going to have to do that now.
It is the same for Moral Dogs, I say. The very first time I chased a Squirrel I knew it might Bite Back.
Exactly, says the Owner. One steps carefully, but one still steps.
So you are going to go to the coffee shop even though you may catch Covid? I ask.
Each of us must understand the risk and decide how we wish to embrace it, says the Owner. There will be those who wish to stay isolated until there is a vaccine, and we must all help them to do that. But there will be those who want to move on with the business of their living, even whilst they know there is a risk, and containing it as best they can. With Repurposed Pants if necessary.
You are trying to say that there may be risk inherent in entering the coffee shop, wearing Repurposed Pants and bearing a Moral Dog to clear the way, but the risk is acceptable and the return worthwhile, I say.
Exactly, says the Owner, attaching the Pants. Are you coming?
Of course I am. It is the coffee shop. The Moral Dog really does not understand about coffee. But Caspar will be there.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.