A doctor and an epidemiologist go for a bike ride during a pandemic. Does this sound like the start of a bad joke to you? Well, it may well turn out to be precisely that– ask us once we’ve finished the trail!
We’re cycling from Edinburgh to Cape Wrath in aid of The Scottish Wildlife Trust (take a look at our fundraising page for SWT here) and VaccinAid – the UNICEF initiative to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to people living in low resource settings.
After a year of working during the pandemic as a junior doctor, including a four month stint on COVID wards and as an infectious disease researcher, we’ve decided to take a break, cycling from the capital of Scotland to the most remote and north westerly point of mainland Britain.
We’ll be riding the Scottish section of the Great North Trail, a long-distance, off-road route established by Cycling UK in 2019, incorporating 627km of mountain biking through the Highlands. This will be an unsupported endeavor, carrying everything we need on our trusty steeds..! Track our progress here (password: openSesame).
VaccinAid – We’re very lucky in the UK to have free and open access to vaccination programs; the covid-19 vaccination is key to exiting this pandemic and facilitating recovery. Unfortunately, billions of people across the globe are still awaiting their shots; 75% of all vaccinations have been administered in just 10 countries and there is a clear correlation between GDP and vaccination rates, with the poorest countries losing out on life-saving jabs.
SWT – Lockdowns and travel restrictions have resulted in a significant reduction in carbon emissions and have also given people an increased appreciation for the beauty and importance of wild places. One unexpected consequence of the pandemic is that we now have an opportunity to hit the reset button on our struggle with climate change and habitat loss. As the economic recovery roars on, it’s imperative that this doesn’t come at the expense of the health of our ecosystem. We’ve chosen to support The Scottish Wildlife Trust because they do amazing work in conserving wild places in Scotland and the creatures that live there.
We hope you’ll join us in tackling vaccine inequality and in supporting the conservation of Scotland’s great outdoors.
Give the world (and wildlife) a shot!
-Giles & Xanni