Former NFL player and assistant coach Brock Olivo is currently living in Italy, which means he knows as well as anyone affiliated with the NFL how serious the coronavirus pandemic is.
Olivo told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune that he arrived in Italy, where his girlfriend and daughter were already living, just as Italians were first testing positive for the virus. He is now, like 60 million other people in Italy, under a strict quarantine.
“It’s as close to apocalyptic as we have ever seen,” Olivo said. “I got back here right about the time this thing was starting to take off. I’ve basically been here since the onset. Shortly thereafter, it started exploding up in the northern part of the country and from them on it’s been . . . unreal.”
Last year Olivo was the Bears’ assistant special teams coach, but he was fired at the end of the season. After not getting any NFL coaching offers, he decided to take a job working for the Lazio Ducks, an American football team based in Rome.
“We had football practice up until two weeks ago when the full quarantine was enforced, and now everything is just on hold,” Olivo said.
Asked if he regrets moving to Italy, Olivo said, “No.”
“My daughter is here, my girlfriend is here and I want to coach football and stay active in the game,” he said. “My only chance this year was here. I had exhausted all my opportunities in the States and I was going to kill two birds with one stone, be closer to my daughter and stay in the game of football that I love. I really do not have any regrets at all.”
Olivo said everyone on his Lazio Ducks team is healthy, but some others in the American football community in Italy have died of COVID-19.