The COVID-19 crisis has made our public health officials into full-blown celebrities. Now, it's not just the health care workers that are getting love online. Nigel Howard, the official B.C. sign language interpreter for the press conferences, has been enchanting viewers across the province, so much so that he's actually got his own fan club.
The fan club has been aptly named "Nigel Howard ASL Interpreter Fan Club" and local viewers can't stop sharing their love for his interpretations.
The admin of the page made an appreciative post, saying "Thank you Nigel for creating intrigue during these difficult and scary times during the Covid-19 Pandemic." The admin also shared that they'd never seen such a "fascinating interpreter."
As a result of Howard's super extra facial expressions, the admin revealed that they and their friends have been sending clips of the interpretations back and forth, so they could figure out what he was conveying during the press conferences.
The members of the fan club have also been flooding the page with hilarious memes and gifs featuring Howard.
Once you look through the photos and videos you'll see why he's been making such an impact on the viewers.
This expressive professional really keeps us going while our regional health officials share recent COVID-19 updates.
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The Vancouver Sun contacted Howard to ask him about the origin and reasoning of his dramatic but oh-so-relatable expressions and movements.
Howard responded, saying that it's part of Sign Language to be this expressive. He also said that those expressions contain critical information that he needs to be able to convey.
When he's not entertaining and informing the public with his GIF-worthy expressions, he is actually instructing students at multiple universities around B.C. He's also an interpreter for the United Nations.
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The fan club admin is now encouraging members to send in their favourite photos of Nigel Howard, and we've got to say that some real gems have turned up.
One user commented, "Omg I love him! Makes me smile in a time of need."
Another user said, "I’m so glad to see he’s getting recognized! My daughter has been riveted to these COVID-19 announcements due to his signing. He’s got us so interested in signing and what the signs mean. He’s amazing and so passionate!"
Believe it or not, Nigel Howard isn't even the first one from B.C.'s daily press conferences to get a fan club.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has her own fan club on Twitter, which has already amassed over 7000 followers.
In Ontario, Dr. Eileen De Villa and her colourful scarves are receiving notable mention by tons of Torontonians.
At this rate, we're waiting to see which provincial health official will get their own fan club next.