From the editor: Playing with Russian Dolls

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

In my younger days, Russian Dolls were very popular although no one explained why to me.

Russian dolls are a Russian wooden toy in the form of a painted doll, inside of which there are similar smaller dolls. The number of nested dolls is usually three or more. Themes for painting can be very different: from fairy-tale characters to politicians.

The exact history of the origin of the Russian dolls is unknown. The most plausible assumption is that the Russian master depicted Slavic images or concepts from legends. There is an assumption that the matryoshka has Japanese roots, according to

I was reminded of these miniature works of art today when I was told the magic words, “You may now take your allergy medication again.”

The words, simple enough, were the words I wanted to hear since 24 hours after I stopped taking the medication in preparation for a follow up allergy test. 

Everything I am allergic to crossed my path at least twice while waiting for the appointment with the technician for the dreaded test. I was amazed at how I once functioned while feeling so miserably horrible, but then I did not know any better back then.

Now that I know how good I can feel by avoiding those things which cause such a reaction, I avoid them like the plague.

Tuesday finally arrives and the technician checks the injection sites on both my arms and says the words which are music to my ears.

Then I realize, I left the bottle of allergy medication at the house and I am not willing to wait. Waiting means a delay in the end of the miserableness I have been in all weekend. 

So, in the world of convenience, I stop at the first store I see and purchase allergy medication.

Now I will admit, I do know I paid for the convenience of the store being there and stocking this precious commodity. This is why they are called convenience stores, they conveniently stock those items we are not willing to wait to go to a full-size store to purchase.

This is when I discover the Russian Dolls version of packaging.

I purchase a box. 

Inside the box is a small cellophane bag. 

Inside the small cellophane bag is a bubble pack.

Inside the bubble pack is the medication I just purchased.

Glad I was dying! 

I am sure there is some safety regulation requiring the extra packaging, and waste which will end up in a landfill.

So, I looked it up. Memories of incidents from my teenage years which made national news came flooding back.

Packaging for over-the-counter drugs is also specified in 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 211, Subpart G. Per Code of Federal Regulations Part 211, Subpart G, all over-the-counter drugs should be in tamper-evident packaging.

This package should have at least one barrier to entry that could indicate to consumers whether someone tampered with the drug.

The design of the package or the barriers should be distinctive. The barriers should have an identifying characteristic, such as an identifying name or logo, and the labeling should include a prominently placed statement that identifies the tamper-evident features and any capsule-sealing technology used.

The characteristics that make the packaging tamper-evident, such as a sealed cap, should be identified on the label. Manufacturers can request an exemption from this requirement if they believe the requirements are unnecessary, cannot be achieved, or alternative measures can be taken to ensure safety, according to

Well, it at least explains the packaging version of Russian Dolls. 

Next time, I will just stop by the house and grab some.


Dawn Burleigh is the general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at