How to Ward Off the Sundance Flu

Illustration by Peter Arkle

A look at two different schools of thought — traditional and alternative remedies — on staying healthy to survive the weeklong wintry film fest.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

For many, Sundance is synonymous with "sick." Writer-director Sean Baker, whose Tangerine screened in 2015, "made it all the way to the end" before succumbing on the flight home. "A mentor told me that the biggest secret is not to drink." Two different schools of thought on staying healthy:

Traditional Medicine

"Herbal remedies are all garbage," say internist Gary Cohan, who treats Dana Brunetti. Wash hands, keep surfaces clean and "believe it or not, exercise," unless your temperature is over 100 degrees. Already sick? Eat chicken soup: "Warm, salty liquids recruit white blood cells to help fight infection." Bill Gates' former exec chef Jason Kieffer makes a mean soup at Silver King Cafe — conveniently located at the Park City Medical Center (900 Round Valley Drive). Flu-ish Sundance insiders can go to the center's urgent care (1665 Bonanza Drive), right in the heart of Park City, and can call ahead to secure a time (435-649-7705) — no sitting in a waiting room. Adds Dr. Kris Kemp of the Park City Medical Center. “Hydration is especially important if you are coming from sea level."

Read more The Death of Sundance's Gifting Suite: "It's Not Chic Anymore"


Alternative Remedies

Soram Khalsa, an internist who includes acupuncture and homeopathy in his practice, advises 2,000 IUs of vitamin D. “A deficiency is a huge contributor to recurrent colds and flus,” says Khalsa, who counts Morgan Freeman and Judith Light among his patients. Naturopath Babbie Lester of Mountain Sage Natural Health (1881 Prospector Ave., Park City) recommends herb Xiao Chai Hu Tang for staving off colds, 5 mg zinc lozenges, extra vitamin C, grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver. She likes Fairweather Natural Foods (1270 Ironhorse Drive, Park City) for such items. Also, "when outside, i.e., standing in line for a film, people can protect their 'wind gates,' located behind the ears and at the base of the occiput." Translation: Wear a scarf or hoodie.