The New York Times declared this week that “COVID is once again in retreat,” but given the cyclical nature of COVID-19 trends in the past, and the coming arrival of colder weather and more indoor socializing, will that trend remain?

To discuss all this and more, Jim Braude was joined on Greater Boston by Dr. Cassandra Pierre, associate hospital epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center and an assistant professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine; and Dr. Lakshman Swamy, a critical care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance and instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Pierre said that although declining numbers is a positive development, there are still concerns around the coming winter months and racial disparities in vaccinations, which she called a "centuries-long issue."

“We are not out of the woods,” she said.

Swamy said predicting COVID cycles is not always straightforward. “It’s easy to try to pin the human narrative on everything that happens with COVID,” he said. “I don’t think it’s that simple. Human behavior and vaccination rates are hugely important, but they don’t tell the whole story.”

WATCH: Is COVID Finally Declining?