There was a lot to keep up with this weekend.
The approval of a second COVID-19 vaccine.
NBA preseason games.
Another NFL Sunday.
A Verzuz Battle.
Did you wake up with superpowers?
Unfortunately, I didn’t either. I was definitely looking forward to telepathy. Being able to transport around the world, back to any time period is the best possible superpower. I guess I’ll have to keep dreaming.
If you’re confused, let me catch you up.
For weeks, there’s been ongoing speculation that when the clock strikes midnight on December 21st, humankind would suddenly be granted superpowers.
The origin of this myth is unknown to me, but leave it up to Black Twitter to turn anything into a comedy session. Although we didn’t get superpowers, today is monumental for other reasons.
Have you ever heard of winter solitude?
Not only is December 21st, the first day of winter, but it also marks winter solstice. This a huge deal in the northern hemisphere.
Winter solstice, causes a decrease in daylight in locations closest to the North Pole.
In some places like Nome, Alaska residents will be limited to 3 hours, 54 minutes & 33 seconds of sunlight. In other places, the winter solstice will have little to no effect.
Big moves are occurring in our solar system.
The "Christmas" Star
Depending on where you are today, you may get a glimpse of two planets. For the first time since 1226, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in the sky, close enough to be visibly seen.
According to NASA Astronomer Henry Throop, if you want to get a good view of what some are calling the “Christmas Star”, you need to be at a “clear view of the horizon.”
The two planets will appear merged as one or a “double planet.”
Despite not waking up with superpowers, the weekend carried on like it normally does.
With the usual Shaderoom drama, NFL games, and COVID-19 news.
Although not in time for Christmas, some Americans will finally receive some coronavirus relief. Another stimulus check will be on the way soon. On Sunday, after months Congreee finally agreed "agreed" on a $900 billion coronavirus relief deal.
$600 Stimulus Check
On Monday, U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said direct payments of up to $600 payments from the coronavirus relief could be ready for deposit as soon as next week. Congress has yet to vote on the bill and President Trump still has to sign it.
Just as some parts of the world are imposing new lockdowns and restrictions, the U.S now has a second COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA officially authorized the emergency use of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday.
The approval of a second vaccine couldn’t have come at a better time as the world is attempting to allocate a limited supply of Pfizer’s vaccine, which was authorized for emergency use in most places last week.
Some Americans have already begun receiving the Pfizer vaccine. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence were two of the first to receive it. After the vaccine was made available to Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi among others received the vaccine publicly.
2 Differences between Pfizer and Moderna Vaccine
While both vaccines are similar and require two doses for efficiency, there are slight differences.
1. The Pfizer vaccine needs to stored at specific sub-zero temperatures, Moderna’s do not.
2. The second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine must be administered within 21 days, for Moderna within 28 days.
Will you get the vaccine?
Vaccine updates weren’t the only news this weekend.
This weekend was full of entertainment.
On Saturday night, E-40 and Too Short headlined the latest Verzuz battle.
More than 200,000 fans viewed the battle between the two Hip-Hop legends.
KC vs. Ashanti
This battle went off without a hitch less than a week after the highly anticipated R&B battle between Keyshia Cole and Ashanti was postponed after Ashanti tested positive for COVID-19.
The cancellation announcement was made less than 2 hours before the battle was set to kick off. Afterward, both singers went on Instagram live together to discuss the news.
Origin of Verzuz Battles
Originally Swizz Beatz and Timbralnd created Verzuz as a form of entertainment for fans during quarantine. The first couple Verzuz battles took place virtually. Each artist participated from their own remote location.
Eventually, as time progressed and COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the battles begin to take place with both participants together in person.
With the original idea of Verzuz being to virtually entertain remotely, many posed the question: why couldn't this battle go on the same way it occurred in the past??
The new battle will take place on January 9th, 2021.
There will be no shortage of entertainment on Christmas Day. Tune in to the NBA doubleheaders all day. The 2020-21 season officially kicks off on Tuesday, December 22nd, but this season won't be "normal" of course because of the pandemic.
A lot of changes and precautions have been put in place to ensure everyone's safety.
Similar to the NBA bubble, most games will be played without fans in attendance. As it stands now, only seven teams are permitting a limited amount of fans in their arenas.