Angela McCall. (Photo courtesy of Angela McCall.)

It was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for East Dallas neighbor Angela McCall. Now, she’s not sure if it’s going to happen. This August, McCall had planned on completing her first thru-hike on the Colorado Trail. She’d start in Denver and end 567 miles later in Durango. It may seem like escaping civilization on an isolated trail is the best place to escape the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s not that simple. As a business owner for 28 years, McCall is needed to keep her cleaning service, Maid Brigade, afloat. We talked with McCall about how she’s balancing life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Her daily routine: As the owner of my business, the management team had it rocking. I just handled finances. It all ran smooth, so I’d go off on long driving and camping trips. I’d take my little tent and off I went. It’s far more intense now. I’m more hands on. Every day is decision day — putting more protocols in place, having the supplies we need and making sure our employees have masks and gloves. We use a hospital-grade disinfectant. Is that going to run out?

Her trip: I’ve been wanting to do a thru-hike. When it gets so blazing hot here, I said, “I’m going to go north.” I’m 57, so this year was going to be it. I’ve been taking these long hikes and buying the best equipment. I’m on a Facebook group of people who are going to hike the trail this year. When this first started, they were like, “Whatever.” As it’s gone along, it’s become apparent that it’s not going to happen. When you do a thru-hike, you have to go into resupply towns and stay in hotels and hostels. As of now, all those little towns are closed. They don’t know if and when they’ll come back. To top it off, the main trail head where the hike starts is outside of Denver. A couple weeks ago, they closed that area. I got a big backpack in the mail, and I haven’t had the heart to open the box.

Plan B: I may go up to Colorado and just see what it’s like and just do part of the trail where I don’t have to rely on those little towns being stocked. It was a big deal to me before, but now it’s like, “This is not a big deal.”

Maid Brigade staff. (Photo courtesy of Angela McCall.)

Her business strategy: Business has dropped a lot. We’re just watching and waiting. How are we going to adjust? We have a big group of employees. They’re such heroes. They’ve got all this gear on and are doing all this disinfecting. I don’t know how long we’re gong to be able to plug along.

On giving back: We heard that nonprofits are having a hard time getting cleaning supplies. To keep our employees busy, we’re shooting for 100 deep-cleanings of offices that are empty. For every one we do, we’ll donate one to a nonprofit. I’m just trying to use all the resources that I have to help. If we have nothing left in the end, we’ll figure it out.

Final thoughts: I know we’ll get through this. World War II and Depression-era people are passing from this earth. I kind of feel like it’s our turn to be toughened up and go through something like this.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.