Author Archives: sarayramiro

Live Reporting: Life at the ZSL London Zoo after lockdown

Various tourist attractions have finally opened their doors for visitors after a frustrating period of stagnation. One of them is the ZSL London Zoo, known as the oldest scientific zoo in the world. Today you will learn how this zoo operates after the lockdown.

Back in March last year, with the incoming of which would be the first of three planned national lockdowns, ZSL was forced to close the gates with thousands of animals inside. 

“We’ve been a part of our local community for almost 200 years, and with your support, are determined to be for at least 200 more.” Described ZSL Director General, Dominic Jermey when interviewed by the Hampstead Highgate Express.

Video from when they opened for the first time since lockdown was lifted in 2020:

Video Courtesy of ITV

The second lockdown once again affected the ZSL by cutting short their plans to bring in their winter finery and decorations. 

“We had been counting on Christmas to raise funds, and on December 4 we were excited to reopen as a festive wonderland with decorations and one-way trails. But as London plunged into Tier 4, we had to close again.” Told Dominic Jermey to the Hampstead Highgate Express. 

According to Metro, national lockdowns brought harmful financial issues to the ZSL London Zoo.

“Feeding the animals costs around £1 million a month, and the latest lockdown will cost the zoo another £1.8 million blow – on top of the £15 million pound loss last year.”

Sky News reported that in 2020, with visitors to the zoo declining due to the harsh months of continuous gate closures and persistent pandemic, the British bank Barclays decided to help the company with its debts, offering a £20 million loan to assist them. 
Nevertheless, the financial problems seem to persist and the inflow of new revenues is needed to move forward as soon as possible.

So now that the third and final lockdown is over, the most desired and definitive opening has come at the right timing. 

“Spending a second Easter break closed was a disappointment which has been keenly felt across the charity. By reopening day on April 12, London Zoo will have been closed for 29 weeks.” Said Dominic Jermey in his article with the Hampstead Highgate Express. 

Since 12 April 2021, the ZSL London Zoo welcomes visitors again. However, the ZSL official website announced some rules that people who want to come have to follow. Watch the video down below to find out about the new safety requirements:

Video Courtesy of ZSL – Zoological Society of London

On 27 April 2021, the newest addition, Asiatic lioness Arya joined the ZSL.

Arya was relocated from her previous home at Paignton Zoo in Devon to her new loving place at ZSL London Zoo.

This 4 year old lioness happens to be the daughter of a fellow lion who found his former home at ZSL, making this transfer a very special one for her. 

Her’s is an endangered species only found in India, with a total of about several hundred Asiatic lions in the wild.

Video Courtesy of Reuters

This sounds like exciting news for the zoo, but some people online have shared their opinions too. Here are some Tweets:

Now  there are a total of 20,329 animals and 438 species in the ZSL London Zoo, including eye-catching Asiatic lions, Okapis, Humboldt penguins and Two-toed sloths.

Some Humboldt penguins taking a swim this morning

The ZSL, which is 36-acre (15-hectare), was opened in 1828, and in 1830 received first additions from Windsor and the Tower of London menageries.

In 1849, the ZSL London Zoo introduced the first reptile house to the world and, in 1853, the very first public aquarium.

In Dunstable, Bedfordshire, the Whipsnade Zoo, a country branch of ZSL, was opened in 1931 by the Zoological Society of London. This branch of the ZSL is 600-acre (240-hectare) and currently has 9,694 animals.

A young lovely family of three, came to the ZSL London Zoo this morning. This is not their first visit, and they feel happy that the zoo is operating again.

“Definitely very beneficial for the kids. They enjoy the zoo and the animals very much” says Myat, and then she added that people should pay a visit as soon as they can.

Zoe, who has also visited the ZSL in the past, is satisfied with her experience today and recommends others to come.

“It’s definitely educational for children and adults. I love it.”

Despite the challenging period, the ZSL London Zoo operates again and welcomes the customers with unforgettable animals, hot pizza, sweet candy floss, spinning carousels and breath-taking experiences.

And will hopefully be able to recover, look after the animals and successfully continue to put smiles on people’s faces for the years to come.

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

by Daniele Kieraite and Saray Ramiro Fernandez

Will Spain be the right holiday destination this summer?

With the lifting of the state of emergency on Sunday 9 May, it seems that the situation in Spain is gradually improving, reopening the possibilities of a near future with more and more travel and tourists.

Approaching the figure of 5.7 million vaccinated people who are now fully vaccinated, i.e. 12 % of the population so far, the restrictions imposed up to now throughout Spain may start to change, giving way to a new season of novelties both for the citizens of the country and for tourists from different parts of the world.

Pending the travel plans imposed by the UK on 17 May, countries will be divided into three categories, green, amber or red, depending on how the health emergency situation is developing within their borders.

Due to the high flow of British tourism to Spain every summer, it is expected that Spain will be one of the countries accepted for travel to from the end of May.

Therefore, if travel between the two countries is given the green light, or even if it is relegated to amber class, we can hopefully expect a summer of sun, surf and sand for all those interested in making the trip.

Video courtesy of
Mallorca – under the sun

Covid-19 in Spain: New Record on Daily Vaccinations

The UK is slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after long months of complete restrictions, Spain on the other hand has more than 10,000 infections per day and around 137 deaths as of yesterday. With the pandemic currently striking the country, the Spanish government is now considering what next steps it should take in the long run to help ease the situation.

Some good news that is brining a little optimism to the current situation is, that due to the increase in the number of vaccines administered, the overall situation in Spain after so many months of uncertainty, is slowly and gradually moving towards improvement, breaking a new record of 481,910 daily vaccine inoculations administered yesterday, 29th of April.

So far, the total number of people vaccinated in Spain is 4,413,784 million people, or 9.3 percent of the entire population.

Although the immunisation status is not close enough to being adequate for this pandemic situation to end in the country, these figures raise expectations of a prompt, albeit slow recovery, hoping as soon as possible to be able to welcome back one of the most important economic bases for the country, tourism.

See the map here:

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

How has the pandemic affected teachers’ mental health?

For over a year now, the only way for most students to learn has been through a screen. This unusual event in any pupil’s life has taken its toll not only on their mental health, but also on that of their teachers.

According to a survey carried out by one of the largest teachers’ organisations in the UK (NASUWT), out of 4,700 respondents, 79% of teachers said that their work has had a very negative impact on their mental health, with precariousness and insecurity in the classrooms being one of the main factors. More than 80% of the participants have suffered an exponential increase in stress due to the large rise in workload, affecting 48% of them in their physical health.

This huge escalation in teachers’ mental health problems has led many teachers to take medication to handle the heavy workload and stress that has grown dramatically over the past year.

Among these findings, the NASUWT survey indicates other important data on the impact of the pandemic on teachers’ mental health, stating that 87% of teachers have experienced anxiety, 79% have experienced sleep loss and 30% have increased their normal use of alcoholic beverages.

The general secretary of the NASUWT, Dr Patrick Roach, is alarmed by these findings. He explains that the pandemic can be seen to have resulted in an immense workload for teachers, who although having coped remarkably well with the stressful situation, “Covid-19 and the impacts on working have had a detrimental effect on teachers’ physical and mental health”.

Many people have expressed their concerns and talked about the education system, supporting teachers and students and calling for more help and respect for the mental health of these educators.

In light of the abrupt change in the notion of lessons in March last year, one might consider these results to be expected, knowing that teachers have had to change everything previously known to them to deliver their content via a computer screen, with many of their pupils learning from their bedroom.

We can only hope that sooner rather than later, the situation for both teachers and pupils may start to improve, and that the general atmosphere of stress and fatigue in the education system will be reduced.

And even if the pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of teachers all over the world, there are some of them who wanted to make the situation a bit more comical. This is why we want to wrap things up on a positive note, but always bearing in mind that mental health is a serious issue to be treated as such, and whenever help is needed, it should be sought.


This post was from a few weeks ago on my insta, but I thought I’d share it with my TikTok fam✨

♬ original sound – Gabby Roma

Featured Image by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The viral tiktok food trends you need to know about

There is no better way to start the day off than looking for the menu of the week on TikTok. This social network, which for several years now has been growing in popularity, never ceases to surprise when it comes to creating new trends for their followers, and it seems that food has quickly become one of the most popular topics. 

So, if you don’t know what to eat, or if you feel like trying out something fresh and delicious, it seems the answer lies in trusting your For You page and allowing yourself to be carried away by the charm of the new recipes that will be presented on it.

Dalgona coffee

If you’re in need of a caffeine kick then this one is definitely for you! With most coffee shops closed, TikTok users are going crazy for this coffee recipe that looks impressive but is easy to make. Only four simple ingredients are needed to achieve fluffy, creamy goodness. Sugar, instant coffee, water, and milk (you probably already have all of them lying around in your kitchen.) It’s no surprise that the drink has been nicknamed ‘quarantine coffee’. A word of warning, Dalgona coffee is seriously addictive so make it at your own risk and remember you have nobody but yourself to blame after finishing your fifth cup.  

Baked feta pasta

Cheese lovers may have recently been attracted to the popular baked feta cheese pasta trend. It’s another recipe that is so simple, it seems too good to be true. Obviously roasting a block of feta with bursting tomatoes is going to be delicious. Or at least delicious enough to break the internet. It’s definitely comfort food at its finest.

Potentially, the reason behind these trends going viral is the fact that they are easily accessible. The ingredients used in these viral recipes are ones that we have at hand in our kitchens and the methods are easy. “Easy” is the key word here. It’s way easier and less time consuming to watch twenty 15 second TikTok videos than it is to sit through a one-hour-long cooking show on T.V.

by Erin Kalejs and Saray Ramiro Fernandez

Featured image: Courtesy of TikTok