It’s scary knowing that some disease that hasn’t even been reported yet in Cattaraugus County is causing havoc.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t act smarter about this thing. There’s lots of things people are doing, but won’t stop.

Here’s Bob’s Top Five things to stop doing during the pandemic. I’ll have a follow-up soon of my Top Five things you should do.

Stop buying up all the toilet paper.

We get it. Everybody poops. I think I read that in a book once.

But as Ried’s Food Barn said on Facebook, demand is about 30 times higher than normal — the distribution chain (forest to pulp mill to TP factory to warehouse to store) can barely handle a 3x jump in demand, let alone 30.

Don’t buy more than you normally do.

And if you do buy a ton, help your neighbors out, like the elderly couple next door who can’t get to the store but still perform the aforementioned bodily functions requiring TP.

Whatever you do, don’t start posting it on Facebook at $5 a roll, I’m reporting you to the attorney general’s office -- and their office for prosecuting the snot out of price gougers is one of the few at full staff.

Stop clumping together.

Here’s the story of Linda and Bill, two individuals in high-risk categories for the disease. They noticed a bunch of people were going to be crammed into a small room. They moved their meeting to a bigger room, having everyone spread out at their own table. Then, they had someone Lysol the living daylights out of everything in the room.

Be like Mayor Bill Aiello and Committee Chairman Linda Witte.

Here’s the story of a bunch of other people who crammed into a tiny room for a meeting. They put each other at risk, especially since a large number of them are in the high-risk categories for the disease.

The Cattaraugus County Legislature has seen the light and will meet via videoconference this week.

Stop letting your kids run around town during a pandemic.

We get it. Kids will be kids. They aren’t at school, the weather is (relatively) nice, and you want them to run around outside to get the stink blown off instead of their eyes turning rectangular from too much screen time.

“Parents: The reason schools and non-essential businesses are closed is to PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFECTION! It’s not meant for play dates and to allow your kids to do what ever they please.,” the Olean Police Department posted on Facebook Thursday.

“We are seeing larger and larger groups of youths (8 to 10+ kids together) walking around and congregating around the city. While we understand this is a challenging time for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with getting some fresh air, Please talk to your kids about social distancing and do the responsible thing and keep your kids at home or limit group size your allowing them to be with. Kids are at risk to the COVID-19 as well as adults. Were all in this together.”

Parents and kids: Y’all want a mandatory curfew declaration from the mayor, ordering children to be locked up and parents getting fined if they don’t comply? Because this is how y’all get a mandatory curfew declaration from the mayor.

Stop buying masks.

According to the Surgeon General, they don’t work to stop you from getting coronavirus. For the last month, he has been begging people to stop buying them.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” he tweeted, adding that those of you who don't have your flu shots should get them, as fewer flu patients means less stress on the health care sustenances, freeing up more resources for coronavirus patients.

Seriously, leave them for the doctors, nurses, staff at nursing homes and doctors offices, and first responders.

You don’t need them, and you look like a tool. Especially those of you wearing dust masks from the hardware store.

Stop wanting more firepower.

Clearing out a gun shop of ammo isn’t going to keep you from getting sick or being furloughed at work. You can’t eat bullets. You can’t use them to replace toilet paper.

So why the mad rush?

Don’t get me wrong. I support all the amendments, 1-27. Well, except the 18th (that was Prohibition, for those who haven’t read the Constitution in a while).

But stop trying to buy up all the guns and ammo. Especially stop trying to buy a handgun in New York right now.

Last week, I saw first-time buyers trying to quickly get a handgun. Gun owners reading this know why that’s kind of funny — first off, it takes months to get a permit, requires character references, interviews and then an order from the courts. This isn’t Pennsylvania, where you can walk in, pass a background check and leave in about half an hour.

Chill on the guns.

(Email City Editor Bob Clark at bclark@oleantimesherald.com.)

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