Theseems to have gone on so long that it's easy to wonder if we'll ever be really healthy again.
Mentally as well as physically, that is.
Yet along comes Apple, with typically insouciant optimism, to tell us what the future of health will look like.
The company just released three ads for the Apple Watch Series 6 that, it believes, show precisely how we'll soon be our own doctors. With Apple's delicate guidance, of course.
The first ad tells us we'll be madly working out. So madly that'll we'll even want to do it under water.
But we won't be working out to actually enjoy it.
No, as the workout woman under water in the ad smoothes: "The workout app tracks all my workouts."
Because you won't be able to work out without the benefit of your Apple Watch telling you how you're working out.
Working out isn't just for making yourself feel good. No, no. It's for tabulating data so that you can reach your goal. Only then, when your Watch tells you that you've succeeded, can you feel good at all.
This, though, is just the beginning of your healthy future.
Next you'll have to obsessively check your heart by constantly taking an ECG. Well, you need your heart to be in good order so that you can work out under water and reach your necessary scores.
Yes, the second ad shows a man taking his ECG whenever his little heart desires.
While he's playing chess, for example. Or while he's watching tennis. (Two highly exciting sports.)
He even takes an ECG at the movies. Because who knows what Tom Cruise or Sacha Baron Cohen could be doing to his heart?
This manic ECG monitoring might turn out to be somewhat tiring.
It seems, though, that it won't be tiring enough.
The third ad, you see, shows that you'll have trouble falling asleep. Perhaps it's the stress caused by worrying about your workout scores and your ECG results.
Or perhaps it's just the constant reminder that, when you wear an Apple Watch Series 6, your life hangs by the thread of a string of data.
In any case, here's a woman explaining that the Apple Watch helps her establish a bedtime routine. Because before there was an Apple Watch Series 6, such a thing was impossible.
Her Watch silences her phone and sets the mood. These are things she's clearly incapable of doing for herself. Stress can do that to you.
Falling asleep, though, will only be one part of the solution to your health.
When you wake up, you'll have no idea how you slept. You can't trust your own feelings any more. You're just a clueless lump of water and chemicals.
Instead, your Apple Watch Series 6 Sleep app will inform you whether you slept well or badly. Your own opinion on the subject is, naturally, irrelevant.
You may say you feel good, but your REM time was entirely hopeless. Do better.
Please forgive me, but it's possible that this constant self-evaluation is a touch sick.
Is it really impossible to give yourself a rest? Is it really beyond your capabilities to take off your darn Watch and just live in (what used to be) a natural manner? For a day or two.
Of course Apple's intentions are pure. They always are, so Mark Zuckerberg tells me.
Still, a future of working out, checking your heart and desperately praying for sleep may be Tim Cook's idea of a healthy future, but it doesn't sound like nirvana to me.
It sounds like near insanity.