I installed a fresh Ubuntu on a VM, and the problem did go away. I'm
sorry for misleading you. I found out that the problem goes away if I
disable the third-party GSConnect extension (due to be included in the
next Ubuntu, https://github.com/andyholmes/gnome-shell-extension-
gsconnect) that talks to KDE Connect on my phone. Disable the extension,
reboot, and the problem is gone (Alt+F2 & r doesn't work). Enable it
again, or even open the preferences, and the problem appears again.

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1781091

Title:
  notify-send only works the first time

Status in gnome-shell package in Ubuntu:
  Incomplete
Status in libnotify package in Ubuntu:
  Incomplete

Bug description:
  (I think this started happening after upgrading gnome-shell to
  3.28.2-0ubuntu0.18.04.1 today.)

  Reproduce:

      * Run `notify-send ok ok`.

  Expected result:

      * A notification pops up for every execution of the command above.

  Actual result:

      * A notification might pop up every once in a while (it always
  appears the first time, I think).

  The journal gets a message like this for every notify-send call:

      Jul 11 02:29:20 tensin-pc1 gnome-shell[3723]: JS ERROR: Call to 
GetConnectionUnixProcessID failed: Gio.DBusError: 
GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NameHasNoOwner: Could not get PID of 
name ':1.68': no such name
                                                    
_proxyInvoker/asyncCallback@resource:///org/gnome/gjs/modules/overrides/Gio.js:71:26

  I use notify-send in quite a few of my scripts, and it broke precisely
  today.

  > lsb_release -rd
  Description:  Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  Release:      18.04

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