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Lebron James and Joel Embiid are in a tight race for the MVP Award
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Lebron James and Joel Embiid are set to square off this weekend at the NBA All-Star game. Coincidentally, both players are also competing for the MVP award. Currently both players are considered front-runners, and many executives are torn as to who should take home the award. James boasts the narrative for seemingly denying Father Time at age 36, posting absurd averages of 25.8 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, and 7.8 assists per game, and the Los Angeles Lakers currently hold the 4th place standing in the Western Conference with a record of 24–13. Embiid, propelling the 76ers to the the top of the Easter Conference with a 24–12 record, is having a career year. The dominant center is posting a career best average of 30.2 points per game to compliment his usual 11.6 rebounds per game, and even adding 3.3 assist per game. With the recent calf injury to Lakers forwards Anthony Davis, James will have to carry a major load, whereas Embiid has had the luxury of maintained health, all while continuing to play with his All-Star teammate Ben Simmons, who has also had himself a solid season. One can make a convincing argument for either James or Embiid to take home the MVP, and it should remain a tight race until the end of the season.
Iowa and Texas lift mask mandates, allowing 100% capacity in public spaces.
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Iowa and Texas are two of several states to have recently rolled back mask mandates as COVID-19 vaccinations are becoming more available nation-wide. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott made the public announcement on March 1, claiming that he will sign the executive order on March 10. Abbott believes his reasoning to be validated with the decreasing case numbers, as well as the availability of the vaccine. However, there has been much concern from health officials regarding Abbott’s decision, and President Biden has even publicly criticized the order. Similarly, Iowa has lifted the mask mandate, and is now the Number 1 state with the fewest COVID-19 restrictions. Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds lifted the mask requirements in mid-February, citing that the case number have decreased significantly since last November’s spike. Unfortunately, Reynolds also claimed that Iowa currently ranks 47th in the nation in per-capita vaccine distribution, adding to the concern of her confidently lifting the state’s restrictions. The United States is in a crucial stage of this pandemic, with many case numbers indeed decreasing per state. However, President has claimed that vaccines could be available for all adult Americans by the end of May, which is still several weeks away. With spring rolling around, many individuals are eager to get out of their homes and back to “normalcy”. However, the states that have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions are under the the microscope of health officials, and we can only hope the case numbers continue to decline.