The sort-of-lifting of the mandates here in New York City is cold comfort

This uneasy respite calls to mind that moment in Nineteen Eighty-Four when O’Brien, having tortured Winston Smith nearly to insanity, suddenly backs off, improves the prisoner’s food, provides a doctor to treat the ulcer on Winston’s ankle, and otherwise gives him the misimpression that they’ve decided to go easy on him.

And then they take him to Room 101.

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