WINDSOR, ONT. -- Adjusting to pandemic life isn’t easy for Leamington’s Mike Doyle, who more than two years ago suffered a traumatic workplace injury that doctors predicted would leave him motionless for life.

“Three years ago, I’d be out every day with the bike,” Mike Doyle said.

Doyle was a truck driver who fell off the back of his rig, landing on his head. He cracked his skull, damaged his spine and broke several bones.

He wasn’t supposed to walk. He wasn’t supposed to talk.

But he did, with the help of his wife and regular therapy.

“It’s hard to believe,” Doyle said.

Doyle’s wife Peggy said he hasn’t been out of the house to go the a store or run errands since the pandemic restrictions first started.

“He doesn’t see the lines on the floors, the six-feet distancing, any of those things to know what’s going on,” she said.

Peggy fears her husband is falling back to the beginning now that COVID-19 has altered in-person therapy sessions and regular session visits.

“Half an hour of virtual therapy twice a week doesn’t take the place of two hours, in person exercise, bike, weights,” she said. “They feel he has regressed almost to the point when they first saw him almost two years ago.”

Peggy says despite their best efforts, virtual therapy can’t complete with in-person consultation, saying they feel forgotten.

“I’m not the therapist! I’m not the doctor! I’m just going by what they tell me,” she said.

“I can put up with not getting a haircut, but he can’t put up with going months on end with no therapy because he’ll get to the point his muscles are so stiff, his joints are so stiff, he’s not going to be able to move."  

Doyle describes pandemic life as lonely. Missing regular visits with friends and family, relying on small talk with strangers who walk by the driveway.

“I would hope that they decide those are essential services and bring them back,” Peggy said. “As long as the clinics are following the protocols.”