David Hart’s plea is simple following the death of his husband of 28 years: “Wear a mask!”

Hart is mourning the loss of Dr. Joseph Costa, who for months had been battling covid-19 on the front lines as chief of the critical care division at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center. He died on Saturday after contracting the virus himself, reports the Baltimore Sun.

“Those who cared for Joe were his best friends,” Hart told the paper.

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In a statement, Mercy Medical Center praised Costa’s commitment to his patients:

“Joe was more than a trusted colleague; he was also a true friend to many. He dedicated his life and career to caring for the sickest patients. And when the global pandemic came down upon us, Joe selflessly continued his work on the front lines — deeply committed to serving our patients and our City during this time of great need.”

Hart added that he “placed his cheek next to Costa’s and held his husband in his arms until he died” — a heartbreaking reminder of the incredibly high stakes of the pandemic.

“I keep thinking, now there is one less ICU doctor to care for pandemic patients in Baltimore,” Hart said. “I get so angry when I see people not wearing masks. It makes me want to take a bar of soap and write on my car’s rearview window that ‘My husband who saved so many lives died of COVID-19. Wear a mask!’”

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