The Chic Void’s great friend Monica Dawidowicz, has been living and working in NYC for the last 6 years. She knows everything there is to know about skincare and will often come to my apartment to give me couch facials. Monica is the first to kick off this series of conversations with strong women to see what we are all up to during this time of societal pause.
TCV: Where are you living, and who are you living with?
MD: Glendale, Queens with my boyfriend Johnny, and best friend Mallory.
TCV: What do you do for work?
MD: I am a full-time Esthetician, specializing in customized facial treatments at Joanna Czech in Soho, NYC. I see clients back to back every day, it’s a very busy studio.
TCV: How has Covid-19 changed your day to day?
MD: Because the virus spread in NYC at such a fast pace, we took insane measures to clean our studios’ space very seriously as our clients are priority number one. We began using gloves and masks during treatments which is a contrast to our usual protocol, where we don’t use gloves. We believe that human touch is a big connection to the overall experience, but that changed with the virus. Soon after, we shut down our offices so that we didn’t put our clients at risk. We didn’t want to take any chances, and decided to close our studio before NYC officially shut down any type of spa related client services. Now I am at home massaging my boyfriend instead!
TCV: What is your biggest fear in this moment?
MD: My biggest fear would be my parents getting sick because they are older and of the demographic for high risk.
TCV: During this global crisis, there have been a lot of religious or spiritual people talking about End of Times and other prophetic messaging. How do you feel about that?
MD: I haven’t been listening to either of these things, and I believe that time is contextual to any point in history. For example, my parents went through communism in Poland during 1982, when my mom was eight months pregnant with my sister. I mean they had to line up for hours to get one loaf of bread in those days which was supposed to last them well over 1 week. They were struggling and poor and I think that is way more terrifying than what is going on now. Even my grandparents can be used as an example to combat these End of Times claims when they were literally running away from Nazi’s during World War II. So I think you can use any terrible moment and say its the End of Times. That said, I’m not saying that what is going on now isn’t scary or hard, cause it is, but I just think we need to take context into account when discussing things like this.
TCV: Has Covid-19 made you think differently about certain aspects of your life?
MD: I’ve become more of a germaphobe now more than ever. Before all this, I wasn’t as aware of everything I touched and breathed. Now I have become hyper aware of everything I touch. From my steering wheel to the pole on the subway, I’m aware of hygiene and all the micro germs around me.
TCV: What are you doing to connect with yourself in this moment?
MD: Umm, not much (she laughs). I’ve been playing Call of Duty for hours every day. However, I have been talking to my sister a lot and my grandmother in Poland. I’ve been in contact with family now more than ever. Time feels more precious because anyone can get sick at any moment. But taking this time to relax and take a moment to rest is where I’m at. I didn’t realize how tired I was living my normal day to day life, and I appreciate the down time.
TCV: What are you thankful for in this moment?
MD: I am thankful for the roof over my head, my health, and my dad who went grocery shopping for my apartment – I mean the amount of food we have made us celebrate. I am also thankful for my job that I will still have once this is all over.
TCV: If you could hug one person right now, who would it be?
MD: Ohh, that’s so hard…but I’d have to say my Mom, I miss her.
TCV: If you could give one piece of advice to others during this time, what would it be?
MD: So much stuff. Well for one, as hard as it is, don’t panic. I think this thing should be taken seriously, but panicking or having an anxiety attack is only going to make it worse. I think people are losing their minds. Right now it’s important to stay inside and take the measures you need to take, but don’t lose your mind. That said, those who are not taking it seriously, need to. Avoid contact with friends, listen to what you are hearing and stop treating it so lightly as if this is all being made up. Take it seriously, but not to the point of extreme stress.
TCV: What is one positive you see for society coming out of these times?
MD: I’m hoping for a larger sense of community and empathy. I think that when we are in a vulnerable state, we realize we need others. We are not impervious to pain or suffering. I think we’re being forced to put aside our pride and realize it’s so important we help each other in this moment. I hope it creates a sense of bonding between people.
TCV: When all of this is over, what is the first thing you’ll do?
MD: Go to work! Honestly, I can’t wait to get back to my normal productive life. I also will make it a point to be in nature somewhere to get some fresh air and enjoy being outside without any health risk.