I have been sick for five weeks today. After three weeks I went to the doctor who told me that there is a bug going around that lasts 3-4 weeks and I felt a little better about my extended illness but now I am beginning to doubt once again. I guess this is where I insert my 'I got the flu shot and got sick' sob story and get out my tinfoil hat. The problem with being sick so long is not the physical impairment but rather the morale problems that eventually crop up.
Will I ever be well again?
What did I do wrong?
Humans, having evolved for quite some time around the concept that the only really dangerous predator out there is other human beings, look for reason and stories everywhere. My brain desperately wants there to be a reason that I am sick, a perpetrator in the shadows, some kind of plot. It really isn't well programmed to accept that tiny creatures have infected me and that sometime in the reasonably near future my own tiny creatures will karate chop them into oblivion.
I assume it is the same kind of desire to find patterns and meaning in events that leads us to search for blame and plot behind a simple cold and also to posit a God. Unfortunately although desperately searching for patterns probably saves us regularly when someone is actually scheming it leads us down the wrong path all the time. Evolution leaves us with traits that are good for survival and reproduction but unfortunately not traits that are well tuned for seeking out the truth. We aren't well equipped for dealing with raw chance and impersonal randomness that may wipe us out or lavish rewards upon us for no reason whatsoever. Unfortunately for our hunter / gatherer equipped brains the world really is just random.