The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of challenges to the globalized world. Globally, it has decimated over six million lives. Since 2019, it has shook the world in many respects, especially, it disrupted economies and societies and halted the majority of human endeavor. Commentaries and
reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the media showed an alarming situation that could be damning in low and middle income countries. Economic pundits and global public health experts also anticipated doom and gloom for African countries. However, in terms of mortality, the Americas, Europe and Asia have suffered more losses. Irrespective of these loses in Europe, Africa’s case needs better appreciation within our contemporary historical discourse. The burgeoning challenge of the COVID disease and mortalities arising thereby, among other things, necessitated the introduction of policies based on the WHO’s historical understanding of how the world has dealt with pandemics in the past. Some of the strategies that were deployed to fight the pandemic included hand washing under running water with soap, the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, the wearing of nose masks, social distancing, self isolation as well as partial and complete lockdowns of states and communities. The major economic disruption really came about as a result of many lockdown policies that were implemented by several countries in Africa without proper reference to their own societal contexts. These issues notwithstanding, it is important to emphasize that the extent of the impact on different communities differed to a large extent, even though there were similar levels of the nature of the infection and the general economic outlook among the global community. This current contribution on the COVID-19 discourse used political economy and economic shock as bases to highlight the extent of the impact of the disease by highlighting examples from respective countries in Africa, namely, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Algeria and South Africa. In particular, the impact of policies like lock-down on some of these African countries are highlighted for further discussions in future empirical research. The study relied on contemporary historical evidence from multidisciplinary sources on health, economics, policy, and other related studies on epidemiology, public health, health education and promotion, reports and sources from the World Health Organization (WHO). Specifically, the authors have used published research in Lancet, the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, BMJ Global Health, Frontiers in Public Health and the Pan African Medical Journal. The others were African Development Review, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Africa Spectrum and International Journal of Financial Research including several other empirical research. In attempting a social and economic interpretation based on contemporary historical sense, the findings of this present study suggest that African political actors or leaders should make persistent or steady efforts to strengthen the economies of their states to lessen economic shocks and social costs that come about as a result of pandemics such as the COVID-19. It also identified the fact that within the globalized space, application of policies from other countries including international organizations should not be devoid of context.