The sister of a woman who recently went viral for walking around in a facial skincare mask and kicking a couple’s food while they were live streaming from Buona Vista has spoken out. She revealed that the lady is currently being treated for schizophrenia.
Pearlene (not her real name), 37, said that “it’s very heartbreaking” to see her sister, 41, be treated as harshly as she was by netizens and the media. She contacted CNA shortly after the viral incident, as she wanted people to know about the struggles her sister and their family face.
The Viral Incident
Her sister was seen walking around in a facial mask and harassing a couple in Buona Vista. She was subsequently arrested by the police under the Mental Health Act. The incident happened while the couple was live-streaming, and viewers got to watch the bizarre incident first-hand.
The lady made headlines for kicking the couple’s food, following the man, and singing when she was held down by a passerby.
Different Perceptions of What is Normal
Pearlene shared that her sister “displayed symptoms of autism” since she was two or three years old, and is currently being treated for schizophrenia.
After the viral incident, Pearlene spoke to her sister about what she did. Her sister did not appear to be bothered that the incident went viral – the couple were being “a public nuisance”, she said. This, Pearlene said, illustrated her sister’s “never-say-die attitude”.
She suggested that what could have provoked the conflict with the couple was her sister’s view on what was “normal” to her. She highlighted that some “schizophrenia patients don’t really understand what they are doing” or “have no control over what they are doing”.
“I asked her why she was wearing a facial mask. She told me (in Mandarin) that she felt her skin was dry that day, so she just thought of using the mask. So I was telling the social worker this morning that what seems wrong to us is a normal thing to them.”
Recent Relapse Shortly Before the Viral Incident
Pearlene shared that her sister recently “relapsed” and threw their father, who was her main caregiver for many years, out of the house as she felt that he would “bring a demon to harm her”.
She was admitted to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and then discharged, only to be sent back to IMH after the viral incident, shared Pearlene.
For Pearlene, the viral incident with her sister boils down to a lack of empathy from members of the public. She urged people to “just try to avoid them” should they encounter someone who has a mental illness and does