Sundance: 6 Ways to Avoid Catching the Flu in Park City

6 Ways to Avoid Catching the Flu in Park City - Illustrations by Hartley Lin - H 2020
Illustration by Hartley Lin

Staying healthy at the festival requires discipline, careful planning and fast action at the first sign of trouble (and, as always, stay hydrated).

1. Fight back before you even arrive, says Vicky Vlachonis, author of The Body Doesn't Lie and ambassador of UCLA's division of digestive diseases, who recommends a face mask on the plane: "If you don't want to wear a mask, cover your ears, neck and throat."

2. "I get a flu shot," says Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. "I used to not get the flu shot, and I got sick every year." Bernard says exposure was significantly worse pre-cellphone: "Everyone had to talk on pay phones. And that spread [the germs] a lot."

3. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day. Explains Stephanie Daniel, doctor of osteopathic medicine, "Partying, drinking [alcohol] and high altitude is the perfect recipe for drying you out and making you more susceptible to viral illness."

4. Take 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in the morning. Notes Vlachonis, "Olive oil contains oleic acid, which is a phenol, otherwise known as a health protective antioxidant that is said to fight oxidative stress and help reduce inflammation."

5. If the nonstop festival blitz really starts to take its toll, try an antiviral concoction of oregano oil, fresh lemon zest and raw honey swirled into a cup of warm water. Says Vlachonis, "It's helpful to start taking this as soon as you feel something brewing."

6. If all else fails, UTA Independent Film Group's Mikey Schwartz-Wright says the trick is to avoid people: "There is a very good commissary in the Library Theatre where they have a hearty turkey chili and a good assortment of teas. I've definitely hid out there."

This story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.