On a cool spring evening in April 2020, a resident of Ottawa was closely tracking the movements of an important package. Though it’s a ritual familiar to any shopper who’s bought something online during the COVID-19 pandemic, this particular delivery was a little larger and more consequential than most. After a fraught week, a precious cargo of personal protective equipment (PPE) was on its way from the U.S. to Canada. “The 500k 3M N95 mask shipment will hopefully arrive late tonight or early tomorrow morning,” the resident, a staffer in the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wrote in an email to her colleagues. She included a link to “a little tracker that I will continue to check every 5 mins.”
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