It's time again for The Check In, where we ask for your perspective on a different issue each week with the hope of making us all feel a little less alone.

This week, we explored the strangely controversial topic of face masks, from anti-mask protests to anger at those who aren't respecting the mandatory mask-wearing order.

We heard from a New York man who wears a mask every time he takes a walk outside and expects others to do the same, a woman from South Boston who is incredibly frustrated at runners who aren't wearing masks and Rani Schloss, a Brighton-based bicycle safety advocate who is encouraging everyone to wear a mask as a courtesy.

"It's not about protecting you, it's abot protecting others around you," she said. "If showing someone that you don't know them, but you still care about them and you want them to be alive is as easy as covering your nose and your mouth, why would you not do that?"

Host Arun Rath shared his feelings about masked protesters, all of whom, he notes, seem to be white, and another listener expressed frustration at "neck-maskers," (those people who walk around with a mask on their neck, but not covering their mouth or nose).

We also checked in with Boston-based fashion designer Erin Robertson, who has been making thousands of masks for nurses, frontline workers and anyone who wants one. A few months ago, Robertson put out a call on social media, asking if anyone wanted a mask.

She said she first heard back from a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, "then more, and then more," she said. "I remember the first day in my studio, I just was like crying. Like, how is a stupid cotton mask helpful right now? This is unfair to the health care providers who like don't feel safe."

Robertson's mask-making has evolved since then, and she's currently experimenting with different fabrics and designs to create masks for a range of needs, including waterproof fabrics, comfort levels for different tasks, and masks tied with a giant bow.

"The point of making masks interesting is to make people want to wear them, because if they were just simple boring masks that just got a job done, that's not going to get someone to wear it," she said. "But the idea is that you get people excited about wearing a mask that would match their outfit, and then now you get to have a cute outfit that matches the mask."

Robertson defined fashion as "an extended phenotype of our existence," as another way to communicate something about yourself with just your appearance.

"So I think that with the face mask, like for me as a fashion designer, I can make something and have it have meaning in a bigger way," Robertson said. "So, yes, it's cute, and yes, it's a pretty, but also protects you and it also shows that you care about the people around you and that you're protecting your community."

Next week, we’re looking for stories about little things you miss. Of course we all miss the big stuff, but what are some small, strange things you find youself missing during the pandemic? What's a routine you got accustomed to before that you wish you could return to? Do you miss the DMV? Coffee in a paper cup? Do you miss attending your children's soccer games or choral performances? Send a voice memo to and put “THE CHECK IN” in the subject line.