ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp, on Saturday night, issued a message on Twitter that didn't shy away from the seriousness of the pandemic and its effects on Georgia.
But on the eve of Easter Sunday, he also spoke of hope and the importance of knowing that worshiping separately doesn't mean doing so alone.
"These are difficult times that challenge us all. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused heartbreaking loss," he said. "Many days, hope is hard to come by in Georgia and throughout the country."
But he also said that Sunday would be an opportunity to "reflect on the greatest moment in history that should bring joy, peace and hope" to all.
And while he went on to cite scripture and speak about the importance of Easter among Christians, his message also extended to those of other faiths when he made one request.
"No matter your faith, please worship online or participate in remote services," Kemp said. "Take this time to be with your family, but avoid large gatherings and continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines."
That request came less than a day after he released a written statement pleading with Georgians to stay home on a holiday that often brings people together.
"To all Georgians celebrating Easter this Sunday, I am pleading with you to not attend any services in person," he wrote in Friday's statement. "If you attend worship services in person, you risk exposure to coronavirus - potentially endangering your life, the lives of your neighbors, and your loved ones."
Now, with Saturday's message, he once again assured residents that they would emerge from this pandemic together - but only by staying apart.
"Fellow Georgians take heart in these troubled times," he said. "We are in this fight together. With your help and God's grace, we will stop the spread and emerge victorious."