According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Wisconsin hit its peak of COVID-19 cases April 12, so now what?

Gov. Tony Evers has had a strong yet measured safer-at-home message that most of us followed and are the better for it. Moving past the peak means we are all getting antsy about going back to work and getting the local economy back on track.

What’s the plan?

Nationally, the media and operatives are at it again. Big media would have you believe COVID-19 is filled with hate and righteousness in its efforts to bring the economy and President Donald Trump to their knees. Weaponizing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s words and who said what when is lining Congress up for its next round of investigations and/or impeachment hearings. Are you ready for another round of all that? I’m not.

Once again, Trump was his own worst enemy. When Vice President Mike Pence was in charge of the daily briefings, people started to move together. He was a good choice as the point person and had the right experts involved. He was getting things done. Trump would have gotten all the credit for the task force’s good deeds, but once again ego triumphed, and Trump jumped in front of the mic. The arguments and attacks started in front of America and the world and all the good deeds were lost in a sea of misinformation and one-line gotchas.

Meanwhile, “The Bern” has been extinguished and the “best chance” candidate for the Democrats has a lot to prove over the next several months. His record is mitigated by the question of whether he is mentally up to the task. I remember former President Ronald Reagan’s second term and the questions surrounding his grip on reality. Biden is heading into this election with the same or more questions about his grip.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working from my home office which consists of a folding table up against the window in my bedroom. Out my window is our yard, a pond and some new construction on the other side of the pond. The geese have returned to the pond and they don’t care about COVID-19. The deer that wrecked my new grass and bird feeders don’t seem to care, and my granddaughters just want to go to the park again. I’m tired of seeing our employees, neighbors and strangers with fear or uncertainty in their eyes. Sales commissions are down; hours are reduced. We’re talking with customers and each other through video conferencing and phone calls, but mostly we are just waiting.

Like other national disasters in the past, I was hoping the silver lining would be the unification of our nation, but the poisonous social media venues, national newspapers, broadcast TV and cable channels are still doing their part to keep us divided.

Locally, humanity rules. Locally, businesses are doing what they need to do to survive and will soon thrive again.

Let’s hope and pray for a speedy recovery and humanity that is defined by compassion, care and dignity.

Rickman is publisher of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.