As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated across North America in March 2020, governments in jurisdictions across Canada and the United States seemed unable to distribute necessary personal protective equipment to the people who needed it most. In response to this failure, many communities had to source and distribute the equipment through autonomous action.

PHM-NA spoke to Tyrell Wees, Sehjal Bhargava, and Evalynn Romano, activists in Saskatchewan and Washington state who were part of mask brigades that worked hard to address the gaps in PPE supply as the pandemic began. Their work highlights what communities have to do when the systems that are supposed to protect us are shown not to do so.

PHM-NA celebrates the work of communities who are protecting themselves from the pandemic while we continue to push governments to fulfil their responsibility to keep us all safe.