Singaporeans in US wary amid Covid-19 spread and growing protests
Against the backdrop of a pandemic, two women fear situation may get worse
A Singaporean nurse grew anxious as her neighbours discussed carrying arms to protect their homes.
Another Singaporean woman became worried about being a foreigner.
The past two weeks have become tense for some Singaporeans in the US, after protests sparked by the death of Mr George Floyd broke out against the backdrop of a pandemic that has so far killed more than 112,000 people and infected nearly two million in the country.
Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died in Minneapolis during a May 25 arrest when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Some Singaporeans The New Paper spoke to said they have isolated themselves to guard against the virus, while a couple joined in the protests.
In San Jose, California, Mrs Tan See Hua's neighbours were alarmed after nearby stores were looted and discussed arming themselves on their chat groups.
Mrs Tan, 43, a Singaporean nurse who has been working and living in the US for 15 years, told TNP: "Everyone here is tense after being at home for a few months. Coupled with unemployment, there is a lot of stress."
A part-time Singaporean student, Ms Karen Wee, who lives in Tysons, Virginia, about 30 minutes from Washington, DC, said that she has put off a number of errands over concerns of violence and the spread of Covid-19 amid the mass gatherings.
Many protesters gathered near her home en route into the city and she said: "I am not worried about the protesters, but the troublemakers.
"It doesn't help that the virus is linked to China. I went to the store to get spices and the sales assistant told me he now needs to quarantine himself."
Late last month, Miss Benita Lim, 32, joined about 400 demonstrators at City Hall in Pasadena, California, as they shared stories and conducted a candlelight vigil as part of the Black Lives Matter protests.
Social distancing markers were drawn and people were organised to stay apart, but Miss Lim said she was still wary and was prepared to leave if too many people ignored guidelines.
That did not happen and she stayed for the whole event.
The PhD student, who has been in the US for two years, said: "I have heard stories from my friends who are from minority groups here and they have expressed how important it is that their painful history is finally seen.
"I wanted to stand in solidarity with my friends."
The Singapore Embassy in Washington DC has advised Singaporeans in the US to monitor local news and avoid areas where demonstrations are happening.