A tragic COVID death hits the fan film / cosplay community…

SOPHIA NEROVNAYA is a very well-known cosplayer from St. Petersburg, Russia who looks amazingly like T’Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise. On her Facebook page are nearly 800 photos of Sophia throughout Russia and Europe and at home, always in makeup and often in costume, looking nearly identical to her fictional Vulcan counterpart. The only difference is Sophia’s wonderful smile that seems to convey sheer happiness and enthusiasm with Star Trek and with life itself.

All of that was shattered on Sunday with this single post to Facebook:

My loving husband and father of my two sons
died today at 4 pm, of COVID-19.

Sophia and Vadim were married in 2006. The illness apparent came upon him quickly, as Sophia was making typical Facebook posts up though Friday, and then Saturday saw a message that Vadim was urgently hospitalized and in intensive care, under ventilation.

As I type this, there have already been more than 650 comments conveying sympathy. I can’t begin to imagine her grief and loss…and that of her two children. Obviously, Sophia has my condolences, as well my wife’s, even though she has no idea who we are.

Sophia’s connection to the fan film community—in addition to being a huge fan of AXANAR because of the appearance of GARY GRAHAM reprising his role of Ambassador Soval—came about three months ago when VANCE MAJOR reached out to her from across the planet with a request for her to make a cameo or two as T’Pol in his newest CONSTAR COMPLETED fan series. Vance was one of Sophia’s thousands of Facebook friends, but they have communicated a bit over the years through the Star Trek Cosplay Facebook group.

Sophia happily agreed to help Vance out and sent him takes of T’Pol composited in front of an Enterprise NX-01 background which have already appeared in the episode “The Stuff of Legend” alongside her good friend, DAVID FRANCOEUR…

Sophia will also appear in Vance’s new release “1000 Dirty Tricks” in a few weeks.

Sadly, this was not the first COVID-related death to hit the fan film community…or even Vance’s Constar family. During the late spring, HIMILICE JACKSON DE ALVAREZ passed away from the Novel Coronavirus in Puerto Rico. A member of the USS San Juan chapter of the STARFLEET International fan club, she had come up to visit the NEUTRAL ZONE STUDIOS sets in Kingsland, GA during one of their early fan appreciation weekends. Vance was filming there that day and asked Himilce along with some others if they’d like to appear as extras. Himilce appeared in both “Just Another Day” and at the very beginning of “Break Free,” both filmed in 2019.

When Vance learned of Himilce’s passing earlier this year, he put a dedication to her at the beginning of “Fantastic Daily,” released on May 22…

Obviously, with nearly 1.5 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide and 273,000 of them in the United States, the odds were against the fan film community coming through this pandemic unscathed.

But I implore everyone to hold on just for a little bit longer. Vaccines are nearly here, and another six months or so of social distancing, hand-washing, and mask-wearing won’t kill us (unlike the alternative). So please, be careful, be considerate of others, be smart, and be safe.

12 thoughts on “A tragic COVID death hits the fan film / cosplay community…”

  1. I contracted Covid-19 because of one slip up. I didn’t wear a mask while visiting a friend that I trusted to be careful. His neighbor came in and as a result my friend and I both became ill. Please, wear the mask.

  2. It infuriates me when ppl say this virus is a hoax, as it’s certainly not. Please be safe everyone, wearing a mask isn’t just for you, it’s also for others

    1. I did see someone on Facebook post that they seriously doubted it was the “China virus” but they still expressed their sympathies. What possible reason would a Russian doctor in St. Petersburg have for misdiagnosing an obvious death from COVID-19???

      The “China virus” is real, it was a Novel (meaning “new”) Coronavirus discovered in 2019 (hence the name COVID-19) that was previously contained to bats living underground in caves. It was transferred to humans (most likely) through the meat of either those bats or else exotic animals who ate those bats that were, in turn, handled and/or consumed by certain people in the Wuhan Province of China.

      COVID-19 is not a hoax. Indeed, it is highly infectious, and it has killed 2.3% of the 63 million people around the world who have contracted it thus far. Wearing a mask lowers the likelihood of spreading the disease to others significantly. So if someone near you who is not a member of your household is not wearing a mask and not keeping at least 6 feet away, they could very well be endangering your health and possibly your life. Now, imagine that person who is not wearing a mask is you endangering the lives of others.

      Wear the damn mask!

    2. Right there with you brother. We should be able to hit people with a 6 foot bat who refuse to wear masks or call it hoax.

  3. I’m from a very rural area, (population of whole county is only 13k). There has been a major effort to improve the economy this past year, culminating in Shop Small Business Week. Unfortunately, there have never been any mask mandates, as many of the local people don’t believe in masks. Some believe masks will actually make you sick and post research reports “proving” that. Stories about those who wear masks getting lung diseases are shared on Facebook. Masks are called muzzles and an impringement on Freedom! (It makes me wonder to whose benefit it was to start spreading this junk!) Anyway, it breaks my heart, but I’m not going out in public or spending in my home county. The larger county an hour away has a mask order in place, but even there compliance is not great. You can attend church services in person and listen to a pastor who says God doesn’t want us wearing masks. However, if I leave home at 5 am I can make it over there to the 6 am “seniors only” hour to be somewhat safe and order one. So yes, our medium-sized regional magnate hospital is now getting over-whelmed. My sympathies to “T’Pal” in Russia on the loss of her husband and to all others in the Trek community dealing with COVID. Thank you, Jonathan for sharing the sad news.

    1. We’re not “turning a corner,” but we are finally approaching the corner. I just want people to keep taking this seriously (or start taking it seriously) for just another 6-9 months. Then, hopefully, we really will be turning the corner.

  4. As John Donne wrote:
    ‘No Man is an Island’

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man
    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
    well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
    own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
    because I am involved in mankind.
    And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

  5. This virus put my Brother into the ICU for two weeks. He luckily was transported to the ER and was immediately given oxygen treatment. He survived and has been home for the past several months. He is weak and has some permanent lung damage. People this is not a joke. Please do what is needed to survive, masks, hand washing, mask washing or safe disposal. Keep social distances, go amongst others only when absolutely needed. Use delivery and non-contact delivery preferred. We can make it to the goal of vaccine release time. Plan on the vaccine as soon as your category is selected. Remember everyone is at risk so keep up your guard.
    I am sorry to hear of her husbands passing. Is there anything we as a community can do to help her?

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