What to do while under house arrest? Here are some of my favorite quotes: “When I get a little money I buy books. If any is left over I buy food and clothing.” Erasmus.

Another of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut, famously said: “Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Participating in an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.”

So here I sit with a large stack of to be read books, my sketch pads and charcoal pencils, my art gum eraser. Any music I need at my fingertips. I suggested reading, art and practicing guitar to one if my best friends, an Islander who moved to Southie, but he laughed and said, “All boring.”

On the other hand, some neighborhood kids I interviewed by phone said they are sorry they are not in school. Many are trying to keep up with their online assignments. Two of my dear friends, Melaney West and Jeremy Dunham, are now homeschooling their boys, as many of you are with your kids. Resiliency is the way to go.

And then there are the stranded. Tamma Cimeno was scheduled to return to her daughter and two grandkids in Texas but that is on hold now. My cousin, Joanne Gardella, who spends half the year in Italy and half in New York, is under lockdown in Italy. I hope you all have seen and enjoyed the videos of Italians singing to one another from their balconies. And do look for the video of the Spanish fitness instructor who is leading exercise class for the Spanish confined to their apartments with balconies.

Our kids and grownups now have free access to tours of museums, art galleries, aquariums, and other significant places on line. No reason to be bored. Every reason to stay safe.

I do believe our Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is doing a wonderful job. Our school system, our restaurants, our libraries, our stores are pitching in and acting responsibly. So far the biggest disappointment of this week, something that will take me a long time to get over, is the announcement from Tom Brady.

Stay warm, stay safe, keep your distance! Book reports are due by my next column.