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Generation Scotland

Generation Scotland

Generation Scotland is a volunteer led study. It aims to create more effective treatments, based on gene knowledge for the medical, social and economic benefit of Scotland and its people.

Exploring with Bonny in Scotland

Hi, I’m Chloe and I’m the questionnaire officer for Generation Scotland


Chloe sitting on a blue sofa with Bonny at her side

“During lockdown, I was so grateful for having a pet.”

During lockdown, the biggest change for me was adapting to working from home. I’ve certainly enjoyed not having to commute but I miss seeing my friends at work. I miss the friendly faces in the corridor and the catch-ups over a cuppa.

My dog, Bonny, has very much enjoyed having my partner and I home so much more these days. It’s been lovely to be able to work with a dog curled up at my feet. During lockdown, I was so grateful for having a pet. She’s great company! She had no idea there was a pandemic going on and just thought it was fantastic that her people were home all the time. Bonny’s a very active dog, and before COVID-19, most of my weekends were spent exploring hills, beaches and woodlands around Scotland. During lockdown, the dog walks were much closer to home, and the walk to the local park got a little repetitive. Now that the restrictions are easing, it’s been lovely to explore a little further afield, and it’s really made me appreciate just how lucky we are to live in bonny Scotland!

Like many others, I’ve used my extra time at home to get back to many long forgotten hobbies, as well as taking up new ones. My saxophone came out its box for the first time in many years and I started sketching again. I even tried my hand at some new dance classes (online of course). I am glad that I was able to discover that contemporary dance is definitely not for me without ever having to leave my house! Other dance classes were a little more successful. I doubt I’d have ever tried these classes if it weren’t for lockdown.

Saxophone on sofa, in its case. Dog pillow sitting behind

Returning to old hobbies

I love taking photographs. I spent lockdown taking photos of my local area. Bonny was also happy to pose for the occasional photograph too! With restrictions easing, I’ve loved being able to take my camera out with me on more exciting walks.

Technology really helped me stay connected during lockdown. I regularly had video calls with my friends and family and even with my 18 month old nephew! During lockdown, I think I ‘saw’ my friends more regularly than I ever did before. I really struggled not seeing my family in lockdown, especially my nephew. He did a lot of growing up in the months I didn’t get to see him! I’m lucky that all of my family live in Edinburgh, meaning I was able to meet with them when the restrictions eased a little. I can’t imagine how difficult a time it must have been (and still is) for those whose family live on the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world.

We have used video calling a lot for work too. It’s really helped us keep in touch with each other, however, having so many video calls can be quite tiring. I’d be very happy if I never had another Zoom call ever again!

I like to keep busy. Although I really struggled at first with the sudden change of pace, I’m more accepting of the way life is nowadays. Life has slowed down a little, and that’s OK. Plans have been cancelled or postponed, and that’s OK. I was supposed to attend my PhD graduation ceremony in June. After 11 years of university, myself and my family were very much looking forward to celebrating my graduation. Although I didn’t get to attend my graduation ceremony, I have no doubt we will find another way to celebrate.

Bonny the dog, next to Chloes feet on a cloudy hill

Not so ‘Bonny’ Scotland

I’ve been following the Generation Scotland study for many years, and I was delighted to join the Generation Scotland team in November 2019 as questionnaire officer. The best part of the job is definitely the team! They are a great bunch. I’ve also loved getting the chance to work with other health researchers from around the UK and internationally.

My main research interests are looking at the relationships between understanding health information, following health guidelines, and health outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to learn a lot of new health information in a very short amount of time and follow a whole new set of health guidelines. We will use data from the CovidLife and TeenCovidLife surveys to understand how people are learning and adapting to the new guidelines.

Creating the CovidLife and the TeenCovidLife surveys was a huge team effort. It involved many long days and late nights. When your office is also your spare room, it can sometimes be hard to know when the workday stops and your home life begins. At the start of lockdown, I was happy to put in the extra hours to ensure we were able to get our surveys out in good time to allow us to find out how people were feeling about and coping with life under lockdown. Now that it looks like we’ll be working from home for many months to come, I am now trying to be better at turning off my work computer in the evenings and weekends. I’m sitting writing this at 9pm, so I think I have a little way to go yet!

("I'm so glad I had a pet during lockdown")

(Returning to old hobbies)

(Not so 'Bonny' Scotland)

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