Although this year has been borderline insane in many ways, there is positive business news coming in as well.
One of them is that New Zealand could finally get its first hyperscale data centre, a facility that can scale up when needed to keep up with the world's burgeoning processing and information storage needs.
Hyperscale data centres in the region have all gone to Australia so far, despite New Zealand having some real sustainability advantages.
Hyperscale data centres use lots of energy, and the Datagrid facility planned for Makarewa, near Invercargill, is no exception at 60 megaWatt initially, growing to 100 MW if demand requires it.
That's a fair few Watts and Datagrid, which is Hawaiki Cable's Remi Galasso and telco industry veteran Malcolm Dick in partnership with Meridian Energy, is very much right in thinking that it's feeding the data centre with South Island's renewable hydro-generated electricity is a good idea.
This especially when compared to Australia's coal-generated power, which apart from being dirty also costs more. The cooler weather in Invercargill is another bonus as it should mean air conditioning power use can be kept low.
Meridian reckons that the Tiwai Point smelter power can be used for Datagrid after Rio Tinto-Sumitomo pack up and leave.
If Datagrid comes off - it is said to be a $705 million project - and the cost of co-locating in the facility can be kept down so that the lower cost of power advantage materialises, the facility should be competitive with Australian providers on the south-eastern seaboard.
New Zealand has lower latency to the United States than Australia, and across the Tasman Datagrid estimates it being just 24 milliseconds thanks to Invercargill being closer to Sydney than Auckland is.
That's right: Datagrid is an ambitious project, with some of the $705m meant to be spent on a new cable system between Invercargill and Sydney/Melbourne.
Galasso intends to hook up the Invercargill connection with Mangawhai, where Hawaiki Cable lands, for onward international connectivity.
A Datagrid spokesperson told me that depending on demand and further funding, a 4300 kilometre extension of the cable system from Invercargill to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica could happen. A hyperscale data centre in Antarctica would be a giant public relations catastrophe but more bandwidth for researchers and conservationists there sounds like an excellent idea.
There's even talk about laying a cable to the Chathams, which sounds amazing for people like yours truly who are forever attracted to Extreme Remote Working.
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft which recently committed to an Azure Cloud region for New Zealand will compare, and Datagrid hasn't revealed much detail of what it intends to build yet or even when it is meant to be ready.
There are obviously building blocks falling in place that make Meridian, Galasso and Dick's grand plan look good like clean-ish power generation in an era of climate change, Tiwai Point shutting down, and finally having good and not madly expensive international data connectivity.
How the Datagrid plans will be realised at a time when supply chains are buckling because of the pandemic remains to be seen, and I suspect the project managers in charge will need to be extraordinarily good to pull it off.
"Build it and they will come" is a risky game that doesn't always pan out in the tech biz which changes so very rapidly.
Given how late we're to the cloud computing game, it's probably fair to say that New Zealand's been too risk-averse and should have pulled out the stops sooner, to establish the foundations that fast-scaling tech companies started looking for many years ago.
It was a chicken and egg situation though which is now resolved as there is no indication that worldwide demand for data centres will quieten down any time soon. Other regions with thermal and other renewable energy generation might want to look at that trend and see if they too can take advantage of it, sustainably and ideally, with facilities that aren't such eye-sores such as today's generation of data centres.