With all the hoopla about the flu these days I am often asked while working as an RN “movie medic” what can be done to prevent it. Below you will find my tips I share with the crew. Most of them are things you have probably already heard but they do help and sometimes we all just need a reminder. When an actor, director, or key crew members gets sick it can cause lots of trouble with the filming process and cost lots of money.
1. Wash your hands often with warm soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. I also recommend using a paper towel if possible to turn off the faucet so you won’t get the germs back on your hands.
2. Use an alcohol based gel hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. I have to use this often because I rarely have a sink readily available at work. Look for a sanitizer with moisturizers to help prevent dry cracking skin. I also use alcohol towelettes which remove dirt along with germs.
3. You can wear a mask, but it’s really not feasible for most people. Try to stay away from co-workers who are coughing and spewing their germs into the air. If you are the one coughing wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after.
4. Be a good citizen and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use a tissue to cover you nose and mouth if possible then wash your hands.
5. Get plenty of rest. I know this can be a tough one, but do your best. A rested body functions much better than a sleep deprived one.
6. Eat a well balanced diet which includes fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
7. Drink plenty of fluids (water, 100% fruit juice, tea with honey, or just warm water with honey. Honey has natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Honey also helps lessen a cough and sooth an irritated throat.
8. Try to reduce your stress level. Prolong stress can weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to illness. Lack of sleep can also stress the body. Movie crews are often sleep deprived. We work very long hours and the hours change from days to night work. My advice to them, go home and go to sleep. No going out on a school night. Rest, rest, rest…
9. Get some exercise. Take a walk, do some yoga, go for a run. Even a few minutes of exercise is better than none at all and it will reduce your stress level.
10. Stay home from work if you feel sick and have a fever so you don’t spread your germs. CDC recommends staying home for 24 hours after your fever is gone without taking Tylenol or other fever reducer.
Very Popular Cold/Flu Prevention Items used on Movie Sets by celebrities and the crew.
One of the most popular items actors and crew members ask me for to give them a lift and help prevent colds and flu would be Emergen-C by Alacer Corp I go through 1-2 boxes a day on a large movie sets. People love it. It’s a fizzy powder in many different flavors and combination’s that you add to water. It’s full of vitamins and minerals. I can’t say if it really wards off colds and flu but I can say the people I work with love it and believe it works. Some of the most requested flavors are Super Orange, Lemon Lime, and Tangerine. I also carry the Immune Defense, Heart Health, Cranberry, Raspberry, and Bone Health.
Another popular item is the well known Airborne. I really like the new single dose packets vs the tablets that you add to water. Again I can’t say these really do anything to ward off the flu bug but people swear by it. Airborne’s website has lots of information and states the ingredients are proven to support your immune system.
Leave a comment to let me know what you do or take to ward off a cold or flu.
PS_I am not a professional reviewer. The mention of certain products are my own personal experience with them. I have not been contacted by companies nor received any compensation or benefit from them.