Olean is the largest city in Cattaraugus County, New York. On Wednesday, April 1, I decided to take a mini road trip out to visit it and document how things were going.

This is the first day where I felt a real big shift in the local zeitgeist. People stepped far out of the way and onto the grass to avoid getting too close when passing on the sidewalks. Giant pieces of plastic were erected in the post office to separate the clerks from germs carried in on contaminated customers. An underlying sense of suspicion came with every new person walking down the street. “Does that person have the plague?” “Why is she sneezing?” Etc..

Anyways, here are some pictures of Olean on April 1, 2020, during the coronavirus panic pandemic.

Post office germ control

Plastic sheeting to protect postal workers in Olean, NY.

Abandoned Streets of Olean

Olean Center Mall

Olean Housing Authority Gets Testy

As you can tell by the threatening signs, the Olean Housing Authority, at 132 N Union St, has had enough of your bullshit. It’s time to start respecting the social distancing rules!

Skin Deep Tattoo Shop

What I like about this door, is that the tattoo shop owners never removed any signs. So like an archaeologist recreating an ancient civilization, we can trace the business through all the rapid changes brought about by COVID19.

In chronological order:

  1. You’re on camera. Behave yourself.
  2. Parking regulations are…
  3. Please don’t come in if you’re sick. We try to keep this place clean and sterile.
  4. Shop closed. Stay home. Follow us on Facebook.

I’m Damon Hudac, an artist and photographer from Western New York. I’m documenting the virus panic pandemic as much as possible because I think that what we record today will be historically significant in the future. You can read more about my reasoning here.

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